There are so many wonderful reasons to love the fall season: adorable boots, fashionable layers of lace and scarves, pumpkin spice lattes, the ever-increasing number of candy corn varieties. Cool, crisp temperatures return and it seems there is a permanent cinnamon and spice aroma in the air!
Football! The sights and sounds of the game are exhilarating. Tailgating, a good cookout and ESPN Game Day soon gives way to bonfires, hay rides and haunted trails. The Pumpkin Patch begins calling my name with its lure of pony rides and carnival-like smells signifying a caramel apple is near. Tiny, adorable creatures of all shapes, sizes and costumes arrive at my door for treats. The thrill of anticipation when all things Christmas begins to surface in stores. Such irresistible delight turns me into Buddy the Elf seemingly overnight. Thanksgiving seems to garner very little attention and comes and goes with little fanfare.
With so many awesome happenings beginning in October, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, forgetting to care for ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.
This morning I was awakened ever so gently by the whispers of the Lord as I realized it is already Wednesday, almost November. “Where has the week gone? “ I asked. As a child, Christmas seemed to come around once every six years. As I have grown older, it seems as though it arrives every six weeks. Time is slipping away so quickly and I am reminded of a beautiful verse in scripture found in James 4:14, “For you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”.
I felt the Lord gently tell me today is not just a Wednesday; this month is not just another October. “I have appointed you, My Daughter, with a certain amount of time, to a certain place, with certain gifts to accomplish a certain purpose. Today is significant and not to be squandered. What are you going to do with it?”
There are two ways to look at this scripture. You can choose to feel downtrodden and gloomy thinking your life has no meaning since your time is so limited. You can trudge through your earthly days in emotional bondage, with a wounded heart and sick in mind, body and soul. You can remain consumed by the guilt and shame of your sins. You’ll arrive safely in Heaven one day because you have lived just barely saved enough to get you to the Gate. However, my dear friend, you won’t be taking anyone with you.
That type of lifestyle is not what the Lord had in mind for our “vapor”. As one season passes with lightning speed into another, we must be very deliberate with our time and talents. We must decide to live on purpose. Once we are His through salvation, we are set apart for a special purpose. 1 Peter 1:2 says that we are sanctified, or made holy, by His Spirit and called to be obedient to Christ. Our obedience signifies our submission to His will for our lives and the old life we once lived passes away and all things in our heart, mind and body become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become fully equipped with the intended talent, tools and time to carry out our intended purpose as set forth by the mighty hand of God.
In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 we learn of Spiritual Gifts. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
We are chosen, set apart and equipped to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We can no longer act like those who do not know Him and choose to remain sinners. Our spirits become Holy and we must no longer be influenced by the things of this world. Every reason I love October is perfectly acceptable and is very important in the bigger picture. It is what we love most that we can confidently utilize to soften the hearts of those in our circle of influence and win souls for Christ.
Please do not live your life as though it is all you have. Live in such a way that it reflects the bright light of eternity. Downtrodden and gloomy is a lonely ride. Release your faith and believe God’s Word is true and that it has power in your life. Live fully empowered by what God has placed inside you, palms down in service to and love for others. A “palms up” lifestyle keeps you happy only on your birthday. Live to give.
Once you were saved and made holy, you received each of the Fruits of the Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and against such things there is no law. There is no law against such things! You do not have to strive to attain these precious fruits; when you were saved they were sweet little seedlings planted directly in the fertile soil of your heart. Sow these seeds daily, watering them with the Word, cultivating them in prayer and scattering them into the lives of everyone you meet consistently and obediently. It is promised you will reap a ripe harvest when the time is right.
Do not live in defeat and make it to Heaven only to find it was such an exhausting journey that you failed to take anyone along. Live in victory and freedom and joy, sowing those fertile fruit seeds into the hearts of many.
If you are asked to sum up your entire life during its last five minutes, what will you say? What will be your legacy?
As for me, I plan to use only one minute.
“I believed the Word of God to be true; I lived my life in obedience to His Word and pursued my purpose with passion. I utilized each of my spiritual gifts fully to display every fruit of the spirit consistently in my walk. My life on earth was indeed a vapor, a gentle whisper of the Lord’s sweet breath; but I lived it in light of an eternity spent with my Savior. It was not just another October, rather a life well spent. And I loved every sweet second of it.”
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