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A Great Start

As much as I love taking sermon notes, there are times when I sit in a service and I am so captivated by the message that I forget to take notes. That happened with this particular message given at my church's Opening Revival service.

I believe the year was 2018 and the guest speaker challenged us to take a fresh look at our relationship with the Lord. He began with the scenario of what the majority of us who seem literally attached to our cell phones, do first thing in the mornings. The moment we awake, we instinctively reach for our cell phone, which is usually not very far away in the first place. For a lot of us, it is probably next to our pillows, even though that's not a safe practice for it to be. It's that close because it was placed there just before we drifted off to sleep and so the message on it was our last waking thought. We reach for it again as we wake up, to see what we missed while we were sleeping.

The speaker said that what this does is crowd out the Word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit. He said the last thought we ought to have before we fall asleep is about the goodness of God, committing ourselves to His care while we sleep. Then as we awake, our first thought ought to be thanksgiving to God for having kept us through the night. We should also take that time to commit the day ahead to the Lord, seek His guidance and allow ourselves to be filled with the Word so that we can be properly armed to face whatever the day brings.

The Psalmist David obviously knew the value of starting his day with God. In Psalm 63:1, he writes, "O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee . . ." This line also shows why David sought the Lord early. It was because of his love for God and he had a relationship with Him.

In Psalm 119:147, the Psalmist says, "I rise before dawn and cry for help." This speaks to asking God's help for the day ahead, for challenges known and unknown. When we do this, we can face the day with hope and courage, and faith that God is with us. If we go to our electronics first, we stand the chance of allowing the troubles and chaos of life to get into our spirit first which sometimes causes despair and knocks us off balance. When the Word has first place, we can view the things that come to us through eyes of faith.

Also, there is a promise in Scripture that if we seek God early, we will find Him (Proverbs 8:17). This doesn't mean that we can't or won't find God at any other time of the day. He is ever present and willing to hear our cry, but there is a special appeal for the morning.

While Scripture doesn't demand that we seek God early, we see Jesus setting the example. He often rose early before the breaking of the day to pray to His Father. Mark 1:35 in particular says just how early Jesus arose on one occasion, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place and there prayed."

I'm not saying that we have to leave our homes to find somewhere to pray as Jesus did, but I do want us to appreciate that giving Him first place in our thoughts is very important.

It is so important to have the right start! There used to be a television commercial that talked about a type of cereal being the thing to give a great start to the day, but the speaker pointed out and I support his view, that the best start to our day is to wake up with the Lord. He then challenged us to commit to reprogramming ourselves to make sure that the first thing we reach for in the morning every day from then on, is our Bible to feed upon the Word of God and then commit the day to Him in prayer.

As we begin this New Year, I challenge you to get it off to a great start by starting with the Word of God, not only today but every day. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you up, so that when the stuff of the world comes at you, it will not be able to consume you because you are already filled with what you need to combat it and even serve as a buffer so that you can get through it with little or no effect.

How about it? Make the Word of God your Great Start!

Question: What is your first thought at the start of your day?

Thought: God promises to keep us in perfect peace when we remain focused on Him.

Isaiah 26:3

Action: Commit to making the Word of God your first thought every day.

Devotion based on the sermon by Pastor Kwami Selver

Opening Revival January 2018

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