Friday, March 20, 2020

Putting God First in the Morning

By: Sarah Geringer 

And [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Matthew 22:37-38

When I heard Jesus say to my heart I must love God above everything else, I considered how I put God first in my life.

Years ago I read a little booklet called “My Heart, Christ’s Home.”  The book paints a picture of Jesus being present in every room of my home, waiting to visit with me.  Waiting to show me love, offer encouragement, and correct my waywardness.

The idea of Jesus sitting at the kitchen table in the mornings, waiting for me before I began my day, inspired me.

It took practice to develop the habit of getting up early to meet with God.  I need at least eight hours of sleep per day, so sacrificing my last hour of sleep is difficult.  When I prayed about it, I sensed God promising me he will provide for my energy needs when I am faithful to meet him in the morning.  So I began setting my alarm for 5:00 a.m.

At first this was very hard.  I was distracted—I thought, I could use 10 minutes to fold this basket of towels or put away dishes, or check my email.  When I did chores instead of meeting with God, my morning felt rushed and tense.  When I tried to focus on my Bible reading, my mind floated in all different directions.  I felt discouraged.

But I decided to follow through on my commitment to meet with God before my day began.  I believed Jesus was waiting for me in the morning because he wanted to grow me into his likeness.  I wanted to become more like him—more loving, kind, and gentle.  I wanted to spend time alone with Jesus.

Over time the habit grew easier.  God spoke to me in my One Year Bible, sometimes sending me a passage which brought me to tears because it applied so directly to my problems.  

Meeting with God first thing set the tone for the rest of the day.  On the days I didn’t meet with him, I felt slightly off-kilter all day, not as loving to myself or to others.  On the days I met with him, phrases from his Word stuck in my heart, guiding me and strengthening me, helping me exhibit the fruits of the Spirit.  

When I met with God in the morning, I became more aware throughout the day of people who needed love, peace, and kindness.  On the days I’m tempted to withdraw into my own world, meeting with God in the morning pricks my conscience and gets me outside of myself with an attitude of ministry.

I began to anticipate these morning meetings with God.  Each Scripture revealed something new—a new path for the future, a new word of encouragement for my hard situations, a new kink in my attitude that needed straightening.  God used that time to mold and shape me into Jesus’ likeness.  

If you haven't met with God in the mornings yet, I suggest you try it for a week. Watch and see if your morning meetings with God help set a peaceful tone for your day. If meeting with God in the morning works well for you, keep up the good habit. The peace God gives you in the morning can overflow onto others the rest of the day, and will help you stay on track in your spiritual journey.
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of a new day, every day.
I want to be more intentional about meeting with you.
Help me put you first every day.
May my time with you direct my thoughts and shape my actions.
I pray that our morning meetings will help me love others more, all day long.
I thank you in advance for the peace you will provide in our meetings.
In Jesus' name,

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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  1. Sarah, I so appreciated this post. Years ago, I developed the habit of rising early to spend time with God. It was hard at first but then I so began to look forward to that time. And now it is my favorite part of the day!

  2. It's my favorite part of the day too, Joanne!


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