Finding Christ in the Chaos :: By Holly Spate

Friend,

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life and all its demands? Do you feel drained of energy and in need of refreshment? Are you finding yourself restless and weary in the world that surrounds you?

If so, you’re not alone.

Life has a way of being overwhelming. Life can feel out of control. It’s very easy to feel quickly burdened by so many things constantly vying for our attention… some worthwhile and some completely worthless.

But, through it all, with each new day we are given, we have a choice to make. We can carry the burden or release it. We can make the right things a priority or make insignificant things a priority. We can embrace joy or embrace misery. We can make each minute count or let each minute count for nothing.

In all these things, we have a choice: we have freedom to choose wisely or choose unwisely.

If someone asked me to share my best advice concerning living life significantly and successfully in this chaotic existence, I would not be able to take credit for the answer. The best advice I could ever share comes directly from God’s Word.

  • Come to Christ- Accept Him as Savior.

“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).

  • Love God. Love Him with all your heart. Make getting to know Him your top priority.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

  • Love Others

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

All these things will not only help the believer navigate more intentionally in this chaotic world but will naturally bring a better path. When we practice keeping focused on Christ, we tend to have more peace, joy, direction, and hope. Keeping His commandments, spending quality time with Him, loving Him and loving others, puts us in the best position.

It does not mean we will never have trials or difficulties, but it does mean we can better hear, discern, trust, love, persevere, and be more at rest during challenging times because we’ve spent quality time investing in a close relationship with our heavenly Father.

I love James 4:8, which states: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

What a beautiful promise!

Brother or Sister in Christ-

No matter your schedule, no matter your commitments, no matter your long “To Do” List, one thing stands true. For all who are believers in Christ, time is always best spent investing and drawing close to our heavenly Father.

Truly, every minute spent with the Savior is a win and a minute well spent.

And, every minute we have been entrusted with… every single breath we have been given… every single second we’ve been allotted… are all gifts given by our Creator. We literally cannot draw one single breath without Him.

He is our lifeline to all good things. James 1:17 reminds us of this truth as it clearly states: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Your very life is a gift.
This very day is a gift.

Now… How will you choose to spend it?

Will you spend it wisely or foolishly? Will you savor every second or squander every second? Will you make it a priority to put Christ at the center… will He be your focus?

Time invested with the Savior comes with so many wonderful blessings.

The enemy knows this, which is why he enjoys our excessive busyness and childlike distractions. He loves to see us waste our time on worthless efforts and enjoys seeing us squander our seconds as our Bibles collect dust on our shelves.

He understands clearly that the closer we grow in our relationship with Christ, the more effective witnesses we will be in the world around us. He is aware if we focus on what’s most important, we will make a bigger impact, shine more light, plant more seeds, and store up worthy treasures in heaven, as Matthew 6:19-21 reminds:

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

He knows if we live out Ephesians 6:11, we will be better equipped in a world growing ever darker: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

He is well aware our weariness will be strengthened through resting and trusting solely in our Savior. He understands, when we surrender to the Savior, we are more likely to praise and less likely to complain when we suffer.

The truth is we are always made better and stronger when we keep focused and close to our Maker… always.

Several verses in Matthew beautifully convey some of the natural benefits that come with putting Christ first in our hearts and lives:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

So, friend… will you make Christ a priority?

True success, peace, and contentment in this life only come by surrendering every part of yourself to the Savior and investing quality time with Him. It is growing in relationship with Him and confidently realizing that no matter what happens in life, you will always find Christ close, even in the chaos.

spate.holly@gmail.com

Finish Well :: by Holly Spate

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Looking back on my life, I regret all the missed opportunities I had but didn’t take…those moments in time that I can never redo…those moments that can never be lived again. Moments so precious…all given by my Creator.

Every second, every minute…opportunities God put in my path, some taken, some missed. And some, simply wasted.

Like all of us, regret plays a role in our lives. If you’re anything like me, you wish you could go back in time and right every wrong. If you’re anything like me, you desire to do better but feel like you consistently fall short.

Through it all, through every mistake, regret, and missed opportunity, I am forever and always thankful that my heavenly Father, the One who formed and fashioned me with His beautiful hands, has loved me. Despite my stubbornness, despite my unwillingness to surrender due to selfishness, His unconditional love has held me tight and never let go. He has carried me and walked beside me every second without fail. And friend, He’s done the same for you.

Our God is great. His love knows no bounds. He is faithful when we are not. He loves us even at our most unlovable. He is forever our Father and friend, faithful and true. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

I am thankful to have Him in my corner. I am thankful for His promises, His Word, His sacrifice, and His overwhelming, unconditional love… a love that holds tight and never lets go.

So now, the question I ask myself today is: What can I do with whatever time I have left on this earth for the Kingdom? What seeds can I sow now that will last for all eternity?

One thing is for sure…I don’t want any more regret. I want to spend each second, each minute I have breath this side of heaven, in obedience to His plan. I want to plant seeds and be obedient to His calling, and I want to do it with a joyful heart.

Galatians 6:9 reminds: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Looking around at a world that seems to be spiraling out of control, I can’t help but feel time on this earth is ever short. This stark reality has me on high alert as I realize one day, maybe very soon, I will be standing in eternity. One day, maybe soon, I will be standing face to face in the presence of the Savior!

And on that day, I can only hope that despite all my regret, all my missed opportunities, what seeds I did sow helped make a difference.

I can only hope one day I will hear my maker say, as is stated in Matthew 25:21: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

What about you?

How will you choose to live out the rest of your days on this earth? What seeds will you plant that will last for all eternity? Remember, no one is promised tomorrow. Every day is a merciful and gracious gift. Each second given is another opportunity to sow a seed.

The reality is we are all on borrowed time this side of heaven. Any day our King could call us home, whether in death or in the rapture. The time we have is now, and now is when we need to be about our Father’s business.

Matthew 9:37-38 is a call to us all: “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Will you answer the call today?

Life is too short to live with regret. No matter your past, no matter your missed opportunities, decide today to finish well.

Friend, it’s time to start!

Get your running shoes out of the closet, dust them off, and put them firmly on your feet. Start fresh today. Answer His call. Be ready and willing to be obedient to whatever He asks you to do.

1 Corinthians 9:24 conveys, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 brings additional encouragement: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that God is forever with us in the journey, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Let’s decide today to finish strong. Let’s run with a smile on our face and an unspeakable joy in our hearts so when our time here is complete, we can victoriously shout as 2 Timothy 4:7 conveys: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

And while running, remember to keep ever focused on Jesus. He and He alone will faithfully guide your steps and show you what seeds to plant, as the only seeds that matter are those sown for Him!

Matthew 6:19-21 brings alive this poignant truth: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 6:33 further encourages: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

What a great reminder that choosing to do God’s will…being His hands and feet…sowing, planting, sharing, loving…are all time well spent. All serve as a great privilege and blessing to everyone who is His, and none ever leads to regret…ever.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 is a wonderful verse that drives the point home that all things done for the Father are what will stand the test of time. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

I’d like to conclude with a beautiful song by Casting Crowns titled “Only Jesus.” I hope you enjoy it and pray it helps put things into perspective as you put on your running shoes, and remember to finish well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFGZzyrClzU

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).

spate.holly@gmail.com