Your morning is the most important part of your day. How do you spend it?
Coffee is brewing.
Notebook and pen are on the table.
I open my Bible and read.
Usually it is 5:00 am. Sometimes, if I am up in the middle of the night with a child, it is 5:30. If there is much to do and the day is unusually busy and I have company and have to start cooking breakfast early? 4:00 am.
But I try not to skip. I rarely skip. This is the most important part of my day.
How can I LIVE if I am not reading the words of life? Search the Scriptures, for in them . . . ye have eternal life.
So, even though there are baskets of folded laundry waiting for my attention and emails sitting unopened in my inbox, I read my Bible. Even though I could get a great head start on cleaning or could begin dinner prep or catch some extra sleep. . . I read my Bible. I can't live successfully without it.
And yet, people try. An informal survey of a Sunday school class showed that out of all the women in that class, only one or two had ever read their entire Bible. A pastor friend of ours says that a general survey of his church showed similar dismal results.
(Yes, I read my entire Bible. I need every word. It is ALL pertinent to my life. Even Zechariah.)
Are people too busy? The busier they are, the more wisdom they need!
Are people too undisciplined? Funny thing: they are very disciplined about checking Facebook.
Is it too hard to get up in the morning? Maybe some people need to go to bed earlier.
This whole thing is very uncomplicated, actually.
So here is what I do each day:
I talk to Him.
I usually start out at 5:00 by talking to the Lord. I'm still a little groggy and blurry-eyed, until that caffeine kicks in. So I bury my head in my arms and talk away. I share my day. I ask forgiveness for my failures the day before--they are so many, and so shameful. I express to Him my inadequacies for the tasks before me. I ask for His words to fill me, change me, prepare me for my day. And then. . .
I listen to Him.
I open that Word and listen to His voice. No, it is not audible; it is legible. Those words. . .they are His breath. He breathed them out for me. He knows what I will face today. And He knows what I will read today. And somehow He matches my trials to His promises, my weaknesses to His strengths, my needs to His provisions. He is sovereign over my reading time. How amazing is that?
And while I am reading, I write what I learn.
I am using a "What do I know about God" notebook this year that has been life-changing. In the first half of my notebook I record verses that teach me about the many facets of God's character. In the second half I record what I learn about what this God Who Breathes Words And Fashions People wants those people to do or to live like. In the first half of my notebook, each page says, "My God is . . . " I fill in the attribute of God and then write out verses below it. In the second half, each page says, "My God wants me to. . . " Again, I fill it out and each day record verses for those things. I started in January and already my notebook is bulging.
I desperately want to know my God.
At the end of my time with God, I close my notebook and Bible and lay down my pen. I rinse out my coffee cup. Now it is time. . .
To start the day off right. Living for Him.
Life is not all about me. It is all about Him. It is hard to get that part of living right when I don't take the time to learn about Him. And how do we know HOW to live, if we don't know the Words of Life?
So tomorrow. . .
Talk to Him.
Listen to Him.
Live for Him.
Your life will be different.
It will be glorious.
MORE ABOUT CULTIVATING A PERSONAL DEVOTIONAL TIME:
Tim and Laura
Timothy and Laura Berrey are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.
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