Here is my devotion for this morning...enjoy!
In the Morning
Since we've been talking about joy over the last few weeks I wanted to share with you one of the ways that I have learned to maintain the Joy of the Lord in my life. For several years now I have made a practice of getting up each morning and spending time with the Lord. I do this in a variety of ways; reading the Bible, listening to worship music, praying, or listening to sermons and teachings. On the occasions when I miss this time, I find that my level of joy can be less than what I would like to have. What started as a discipline has become a source of life that brings stability and strength to me.
There is a song that I absolutely love entitled Day By Day. The lyrics of this song remind me that I must seek God's hand in my life day by day, and sometimes moment by moment. While it is true that God has promised to never leave or forsake me, it is up to me to seek His direction. As I take time to acknowledge His Presence, I become keenly aware that He is truly with me every moment of every day. That is why I make time to spend time with Him.
It is so easy in the hectic pace of life to run out before we give thanks to our Maker for making a fresh new day for us to live in. His mercies are new every morning, but it is up to us to acknowledge and thank Him for that mercy and goodness. Jesus taught the disciples to pray for DAILY bread, not monthly or weekly bread. We know from Jesus' discourse with satan in the wilderness that this "bread" is God's fresh word of direction that He speaks to us. The best way that I have learned to hear God's voice is to seek Him early in the morning, before the busyness and the loudness of the day has a chance to drown His voice out.
Jesus knew that He could live longer without physical food than He could without the inspired word of God for His daily life. How much more do we need to seek God's face each and every day for His direction, mercy and grace to live our lives? I have found that my day goes much better when I make time to read God's Word, sit in His Presence, thank Him for His mercy, and seek His council in the morning, before I start my day. Proverbs 3:5-8 promises that if we will acknowledge God in ALL of our ways, He will make our paths straight.
So today, I encourage you to take time to make time for God. Thank Him for His mercy and thank Him for His grace. Let Him know that apart from Him, you can do absolutely nothing of lasting value. Allow His Spirit to breathe fresh life into you and listen for His word of direction for your day. When you take time to spend time with the Lord you will not be disappointed because in His presence is fullness of joy.