Now Is the Time, Part 8: Embrace | Refrain from Embracing
June 26, 2022 / Ecclesiastes 3:5
Lem Usita, Executive Director of the Firs
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the sun:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
embrace: to greet one another; to take hold of; to surround, envelop, encompass; to contain, confine.
3 Ways We Get to Embrace
1. We get to embrace (invite) people into this . (Matthew 28:18–20, Acts 1:8)
2. We get to embrace one another — . (1 John 4:19, John 15:12, John 13:35)
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
3. We get to embrace .
An embrace has the power to !
Refrain from Embracing
Refrain from embracing is this idea of . (1 Corinthians 7:1–2)
Refraining from embracing takes . (Psalm 1:1, Matthew 5:7, Luke 6:42, 1 Cor. 7:5–6)
Refraining from embracing has the power to !
So, when am I supposed to embrace?
And when should I refrain from embracing?
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Small Group Questions
- With someone you’ve just met, are you a waver, a hand-shaker, or a hugger? Does that change with people you know?
- Of all the “seasons” mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3:1–8, which one speaks to you most this week? Why?
- Is there something God has called you to embrace—something you wouldn’t naturally take hold of? What is it? Have you been able to embrace that person or that idea?
- Have you ever had to refrain from embracing something? What was the process like, and how did God or others help you through it?
- How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?