Getting our days started right
I am always excited when I meet a new Christian or someone that has decided to come back from a life of sin and shame to the things of God. They are excited, happy and generally open to learning everything they can about the Word of God and the things of God. They usually want to be around other Christian people and cannot seem to get enough of talking about how God has worked in their lives.
This type of man or woman, boy or girl, brings excitement to the group, and helps to remind older Christians of the very important need of sharing the Gospel, taking time to answer questions, reaching out to the folks we met, and attempting to demonstrate by our lives that God is real, He loves us, and He wants us to love others. So very often, the good Christians we meet have long ago lost their first love. Christ’s redemption has lost the sparkle it once had in their lives, and they may yet be faithful, but church is no fun and they’re not happy. Attending services and even social occasions become more of a duty than a pleasure, and we keep on keeping on because it is expected of us.
Hogwash. Let’s love and serve God because we mean it from the depths of our soul. If others are going to want what we’ve got to offer, we had better make certain we show some happy faces from time to time and that we talk about the goodness of God in our lives.
My old pastor often said, “Excited people excite people.” Don’t come to me with doom and gloom written all over your face, looking as though you’d been weaned on dill pickle juice, or that you have just fallen out the back door of a long black hearse, and expect me to get excited about what you’re doing, selling or offering. It just won’t happen. I will, however, go to the ends of the earth for someone who is excited, has a plan, loves the Lord, and is trying to reach others.
How can we keep on fire? How can we make certain we don’t drift off course and find ourselves falling victim to the horrible news we hear each day — murders, rapes, innocent children being hurt, terrible finances, wars and rumors of war, illness, relationship misunderstandings, or whatever else fills our plates? How can we stay in love with our Savior? How can we truly remain brilliant Christians whose light helps to ward away the darkness for others we met along the way?
I have come to believe that we must begin the day with God. The Scriptures teach in many passages that each of us needs to have a quiet time. I know we’re busy. I know the kids have to get to school and we have to get to jobs or volunteer agreements. I know the household has to be looked after properly and the lawn has to be trimmed, but I also know the day that starts with God always seems to end better. Plan a time to meet with God, study His Word, think on His thoughts, pray for those you love and will be in contact with that day or evening, and choose to give Him the first part of your day when your heart and mind are fresh and more open to communication.
It is not easy. It takes work and perseverance, but it is worthwhile. If I don’t have my time for meditation and prayer early in the morning, I am much more likely to say things I don’t mean, lash out at someone that didn’t do something the way I’d prefer, hurry children or even my husband, and speak unkindly. Filling our hearts and minds with Scripture will greatly increase our fellowship with God — and here’s a secret — with man, too.
In 1 Timothy 4:7b, we are told “… discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”
“If you choose to consistently feed yourself spiritually, you will continue to grow. If you don’t you will stop growing and settle into lukewarmness and mediocrity. The Lord said, ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot,’” (Revelation 3:15).
Christian meditation involves prayerfully considering, reflecting, and focusing on all the aspects of a truth, then seeking to apply that truth to your life. True meditation leads to godly thoughts and actions.
Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.