I like to start the first day of the year the same way I will start the next 364 days: brush my teeth, brew my coffee and drag my bag o’books to the far end of the kitchen table.
My devotional time (and possibly my coffee….) is the one addiction this addictive person is allowed. There will be some mornings when I have to leave the house so early I will not have the time to sit here. There will be times when I have to cut things shorter than I would like. But there will not be a morning that I do not wish I could sit here longer than I have time allowed to do so.
Many years ago, I sought to dedicate a portion of the day to the study of God’s Word and focused prayer. Being a busy mom with young children, it often got put off until right before I crashed into bed.
In those days, the little devotion Our Daily Bread was my study book. Often as I read the pages before falling asleep, I would find the teaching to be a sharp conviction for my wayward path that day. I would think, wow….that would have been helpful to have read BEFORE I _______________ (fill in the blank with any fleshly response a young wife and mother might have experienced).
At some point, God got it through my head that if I would START the day with Him, I stood a better chance of not falling off track, until at least 9 AM. Over the years, my devotional pile has grown as my family demands have lessened. There are no uniforms to throw in the dryer, lunches to pack and kids to prod into motion, so I have the luxury to study God’s Word and spend time in prayer for the ones I love so much (who are busily tending their young adult lives with little time to fuel up on God’s Word!).
I find that reading through the Bible each year NEVER fails to bless me with a fresh perspective of God’s Word. Last year, I used The Message with notes from Eugene Peterson. It is worn out, marked up and has quite a few tear and coffee stains. This morning I opened the pristine pages of The Jeremiah Study Bible and marveled at how fresh and new it is. I can’t wait to discover what I missed last year!
I don’t know what the year ahead holds, but I hope that as I JOURNEY ONWARD in Christ I will look more like Him at the end of 2014. The only way I know how to do this is to read and study and meditate on His Word, pray in the Spirit and be obedient to DO what He says.
With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9 NKJV
May God bless you to make the time to be in His Word every day and for His Word to be in YOU!