Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starting My Day

“We awaken each day with a tendency to forget that which is most important: the gospel. All of us should assume this tendency and be aware of this tendency. Because of the Fall and due to the effects of remaining sin, we have a daily tendency and temptation to forget stuff in general and to forget that which is most important in particular. Assuming this tendency, we must create practices that will enable us to remember what we must not forget—the cross. So each day I seek to spend time in a location where I am not distracted, unhurriedly reading and meditating on Scripture and finding my way in Scripture to a hill called Calvary to meditate each day on Christ and him crucified. Each day I need to remind myself of the gospel. I cannot live on yesterday’s recollection of the gospel. I need to review and rehearse the gospel each day or I will assume the gospel, forget the gospel, and prove vulnerable to all manner of temptation and sin.”
-C.J. Mahaney

After I made the decision to be a Christian, I thought that it would be easy to live for Christ each day because I’d already committed my life to Him.  But, the opposite has been true. Instead, I have just become more and more aware of how sinful I am and how hard it is to choose Christ.  Because of this, I have realized just how important it is to spend time with Him each day. 

Yes, I want to live for Christ and I want Him to have control over every thing in life.  But, if I do not make a daily decision to spend time with Him, what will come out?  Anger. Pride. Arrogance. Jealosusy. Gossip. Impatience. Selfishness.  These are the things I am filled with because I am sinful.  

At times it seems almost impossible to overcome these sinful tendencies.  And, it is impossible to overcome them on my own.  If I don’t take time to spend pouring over God’s Word each day, I will be relying on my own strength and I will fail miserably.

In this season of my life, my patience is tested all of the time.  My little toddlers are always testing my patience.  I never realized how demanding and all-consuming it would be to have children!  And so, even more, I see that I must take time to spend with God each day. 

Usually, I spend time reading God’s Word during my children’s nap time.  But, there is only one problem with that: I am not starting out my day in God’s Word.  No, it is not a rule that we must spend time with God when we first wake up in the morning.  But, I am seeing that it needs to be a rule for me right now.  My fleshly desires are just aching to come out, and I am giving in to them because I am not starting out my day with the right attitude. 

I want Christ to change my thoughts, to give me a new attitude and to help me be solely concerned with bringing Him glory each and every day.  To do this, I do not want to waste any part of my day giving in to these fleshly desires. 

It is my goal to get up before everyone else does and spend just a few minutes focusing on Christ each day and praying over my family.  I will be reading Stormie Omartian’s book, The Power of a Praying Parent.  When my children take naps, I can take more time to have intentional study in God’s Word. 

I wish I wasn’t so weak…that I could just come to God occasionally and that would be enough to last for a few days or weeks.   But, we are all that weak because we are self-consumed and sinful.  If I want that to change, I must make an effort to fill my mind with Christ…right when I get up each morning. 

Paul talks about this constant battle that goes on within our minds because we are sinful:

Romans 7:14-25:
“The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate… And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.  I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?  Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

Yes, thank God that Jesus our Lord does save us from this sinful life!  May we allow Him to reshape the way that we think each day so that we are not dominated by our sinful nature.  May we give Him control so that His Spirit can guide us. 

Romans 8:5-8
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.”

Father- show us what we need to change in our lives so that we can be filled with your Spirit each day. 

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