I try to never, ever miss an opportunity to encourage you to start your day-the very first thing, the very first part of your day-with prayer and reading God’s Word. I try to, between hitting the snooze button on the alarm, talk to God, before I even get out of bed. I try to always begin the day, and begin each prayer, with just thanking God, praising God, for His love, His grace, and His mercy, and by reminding myself that “This is the day the Lord has made.”
I need all the help I can get! It’s tough out there! How can I … and, how can I be expected to … face the day alone? Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … And, let’s prepare for it: When you open that door to leave your house, you are stepping out into a lost and dying world. A world that is desperately crying out, in many different ways and forms. A world where so many have lost hope … don’t even know what “hope” is. And … Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … A world which will do everything within its power to make you lose your hope. And … Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … A world which will do everything in its power to influence you. A world which will send people and circumstances after you … to defeat you … to take away, yes, to steal, your joy, your strength, and your Christian testimony.
And, here’s another really, really, really tough part: A world that is more powerful than you are … on your own.
In a few, short words, you are stepping out into a world which needs Jesus.
How can we step out there without Him? Without checking with Him first? He wants so desperately to hear from you … to begin the process … in order for you to be able to hear from Him.
I try to pray every day to think the right thing … to do the right thing … to say the right thing. My “bottom-line” prayer for the day is that others will see Jesus in me. That’s it. Period.
Guess what? So often, I fail miserably. So often, I don’t think the right thing. I don’t do the right thing. And, Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I don’t say the right thing. So many days, I’ve “got it down,” I am having a great day … hitting on all cylinders … when, from out of the blue … someone will cross my path, I’ll run into someone, and it seems like all of the dominoes have fallen down.
This is where forgiveness comes in. To have the faith and courage to “get back out there” and go again! That’s what “another day” is for. God gives us another day to “work at it.” But, I can’t begin to “work at it,” I can’t begin to improve, to get better … unless I “begin” with Him. He is my Help … my everything. Why would I not begin this new day without checking in with Him first?
Remember this: He knows what the day holds. You don’t.
To get through it, you are going to need Him. The great thing is that He wants to help you! He wants to listen to you! He wants to speak to you!
Every moment of every day.
But, it must start by “Starting” with Him.
Time with Him.
Talking to Him.
Listening to Him.
Sad … Unfortunate … Yet, true … There are so many which don’t have what you have. They don’t have the help that you have. They may not even know that such a “Help” exists.
Well … that’s where you come in … to truly fulfill your purpose … your mission … What you are really here for, to “Begin” with … To show forth His glory, His love, to a lost and dying world. How will they know unless someone tells them … shares with them … “makes known the reason for our hope” …
My intention was to share with you one of the works of Christian art which we feature over at our online store, entitled “Begin a New Day,” but I must put that aside, in order to share this message instead. God loves you so much … He sent His only Son, Jesus, and Jesus, because of His love for you … agreed to come! He agreed to step down from His throne in Glory, and take human form … knowing that He would die a cruel, vicious death … but, He was willing to do this, to die, in order that we could live …. Live victoriously, and not just in this world, but to live with Him, forever, in Heaven … He made sure of this by rising from the dead, thereby gaining victory, for all time, over sin and death … Jesus suffered with the same things we suffered (including that “being betrayed by those closest to Him” thing), and He was tempted by everything that we are tempted by! However … He was able to do all this without sin … to do it “perfectly,” because He was perfect. So … why would we not “pull Him aside” and ask for His help and advice before we go out that door??? Why would we not “follow His lead” instead of what the world is trying to get us to follow???
Why would we not do what He did? How did He start each day? He prayed. Yes, sometimes, He would pray for hours … He had a habit (to use a “human understanding” term) of going off by Himself alone … alone, by Himself … away from all of life’s distractions … and, He would pray … just talk to His Heavenly Father. He would talk … and, He would listen. That’s an example!
Back to the sad part … yet, we must really come to terms with this: Yes, we must be the best example of Jesus we can be. Yet, despite our best efforts, we still can’t control someone else’s actions. You can only control your actions.
And, you can’t do that without God’s help.
So, ask Him for his help. Every day.
No, you still can’t make someone listen to you. You can’t make someone hear your message. When you chose to follow God’s leading … it was just that-a choice.
They have the same choice you did.
And, both choices come with their own consequences. And, you can’t change that, either.
Your job is to speak the Word. If you do this by example, people will come to you. God will make sure of that. You still can’t make them accept what has changed you, what has made you “so different from everyone else they know,” but it is still their choice.
I don’t know about you, but the worst things which ever happened to me … came as a result of someone else’s influence over me. And, it wasn’t always a “person.” Yet, the only way to say this is this: Don’t let someone else’s wrong actions influence your actions. If it is wrong for them, it’s wrong for you. If they suffer as a result of their action, you will suffer, too.
One thing more we must address:
We can’t change the events of yesterday. One of the great things about going to God first thing in the morning is this: We can ask for, and receive forgiveness. We can, at least between God and us (and, isn’t that the most important thing to straighten out?), get things straightened out, to talk about “what went wrong” yesterday … and, to get that help for today … That just sounds so simple, yet so awesome … And, it is both … Start the day with thankfulness to a great, loving God, who has given you-yes, given you-another day, to “get it right.”
You just can’t “get it right” until you “get it right” with Him … first.
So, maybe we can’t change the events of yesterday. Or, someone else’s actions. But, we can change our actions, our thoughts, and our words. Not without His help, but there won’t be any hesitation on His side.
What a gift today is.
Why not start it off, “begin the day” right?