Daily Devotional 7-31-20

Mornings used to be the worst part of my day. My alarm would go off, I’d hit snooze, but soon the kids would barge in wanting breakfast. I would look at the clock and realize how late we were and then panic! My kids need to be dressed, fed, and off to school. If we didn’t hurry, my wife and I were going to be late for work, and heaven forbid there be any traffic because I had an early meeting and no time to spare. Well after work, I’d hurry home to help with dinner, take my kids to their various activities, help with homework, and then put the kids in bed. Then my wife and I would talk for a little bit, or we would stay up too late watching Netflix together before we just passed out, exhausted.  The next day then would be the same thing all over again, and I couldn’t keep doing this.
One day, I was reading the Bible and a verse about Jesus just changed my life. I’d read it countless times before, but I’d never really put it to the test. Mark 1:35 (NIV) says “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Now I always say that I want to be more like Jesus, but Jesus was a morning person. I was a stay up late, hit the snooze button three times kind of person. Did Jesus know something that I didn’t? I mean it was worth a try, right? So I noticed that Jesus did three things that I didn’t. One, Jesus got up early before the sun, I got up late cursing the sun. Number two, Jesus left the house and He walked somewhere, getting a little bit of exercise in the process, while I just drove everywhere. And number three, Jesus spent time with God alone. My kids never left me alone, and my time with God was sporadic at best.
So I made a plan. I set my alarm for 5:30 am the next day, went to bed early, and the next day I woke up, left the house, went for a walk, I prayed, I spent time reading my Bible, all before my kids woke up. It was hard to wake up the first few mornings, but I felt the difference almost right away. I wasn’t as stressed, I wasn’t yelling at my kids “Let’s go, we got to go!”. I had a lot more time. Soon I noticed that I had a little more energy, I felt better, I was getting more things done, but most importantly, I was spending more quality time with the Lord. Plus my wife, she kept commenting about how much happier I seemed to be and how much smoother the mornings were running, and you know what they say, “A happy wife, a happy life.” 
So, Jesus knew what He was doing, and I have never been disappointed by imitating Him. Mornings have gone from being one of the worst parts of my day to being one of the best. So, here’s my challenge for you today. Does the way you start your day look anything like how Jesus started His? You may not be a morning person and that’s fine, but at the very least you can spend some time when you first wake up in your Bible and praying. Now this isn’t going to happen unless you make time for it. You don’t just accidentally start reading your Bible and spending more time in prayer. So here’s what the challenge is. What do you have to do to start making time in God’s word a priority for you in the morning? I challenge to just give it a try. See if it doesn’t start to transform your days, like it did mine.