Sunday, January 26, 2014

The first hour of the day

Having a quiet time in the morning... it took me years. I was very hit and miss for many of those years because I am naturally lazy and distracted and undisciplined. But making time first thing in the morning to be in the Word changes me.

And boy do I ever need changing.

first hour
It doesn’t take too long heading into most days to hit a storm… wind and rain and floods in the form of hurtful words, challenging relationships, daunting circumstances and if I haven’t filled up first thing with the Truth, I find myself getting tossed around a lot.  The storm dictates my life instead of the Word.

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.  But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards. 
Matthew 7:24-27 The Message

Stupid is a pretty strong word but even I know it would be stupid to build a house on sand.  It's just as foolish to think I have what it takes to navigate all that my day holds with my own 'wisdom' and strength.  (I know I'm mixing my metaphors here but stick with me.)  Heading into a day without time with Him is like jumping onto a rickety old raft on a stormy ocean instead of onto a ship with a deep rudder. Stupid isn't too strong of a word.

One of the most obvious ways this shows up in my life is in what comes out of my mouth.  A snap reply.  A critical comment.  A thoughtless remark.  My mouth always gives away what’s in my heart.

It’s probably not an accident that James also mentions a rudder...

A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!  It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.
James 3:4-5 The Message

I really want to speak GRACE, LOVE, KINDNESS. God’s Word freshly poured into my heart and thoughts slows me down, reminds me, gives me new perspective and new motivation. Otherwise I am bossed around by however I am feeling at the moment and you'll hear that in everything I say.

I know lots of people lament, “I’m just not a morning person” or “I wake up too late to have a quiet time in the morning.”  I used to say that too.  Until I realized that I absolutely had to get the Word and its power into me first thing.  It’s hard enough to stay on course WITH the Word in my thoughts.  It’s impossible without it. 

And it shouldn't surprise us that time with Jesus in the morning is its own reward.  I think He waits for us.  That He looks forward to the time we set aside to be with Him. 

What a wonderful thought to know He loves to be with us
  • encouraging us when we’re low
  • strengthening us in every place we’re weak
  • teaching us how to do what He asks
  • showing us what we can’t see from our own perspective
  • revealing the lies we’ve believed and the Truth that replaces them
  • equipping us with His power  

I don't know if any of this is what Mr. Beecher meant when he said that the first hour is the rudder of the day.  But it really can become the best part of waking up.

1 comment:

April said...

Without Jesus we can do nothing. It makes sense that we'd want direction for life everyday, plus that sweet fellowship with God. Or else, how can we live, and be all God wants us to be, especially in these last days? May God help us.

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