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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Living Stone

Why spend time each day alone with God in prayer, in worship and in His word?

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Why spend time each day alone with God in prayer, in worship and in His word?

 

Matt 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Ps 31:20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence...

Isa 26:9 ...Yes, by my spirit (my heart) within me I will seek You early...

 

When I get alone with God, quiet my thoughts, insure with my heart I’m in God’s presence, and can hear His voice, and can receive His words and His understanding of them; then:

-I am always at peace and made genuinely happy, because I’m currently in Christ.

-I receive such light from Him to see my life clearly, and power to do what is right.

-My heart gets filled up again with His love for me, and for others, and mine for Him.

-It is so much easier to say sorry or to forgive others, worry and pride evaporate.

-My faith in God and His goodness is re-energized; I know He’s taking care of me.

-I become increasingly interested in others and want them to really know Him.

-I’m not preoccupied with my own will; I delight to do the will of my heavenly Father.

 

When I don’t get alone with God, due to laziness, muddled thinking, disobedience, work, people, distractions, other commitments, or unresolved sin – God gets crowded out; then:

-I seem less able to overcome the daily opportunities to give in to things like resentment, irritation, un-forgiveness, worry and pride.

-I have a growing inner sense of guilt and condemnation. My conscience, the voice of my spirit, if it’s tender, condemns me, causing me to feel guilty.

-Because I secretly don’t feel good about myself I find I tend to lash out in anger at others more quickly, and blame them for my mounting problems.

-With a dark cloud over my soul I can’t help seeing circumstances and people increasingly in a more negative light. I’m more prone to feel sorry for myself.

-I have a sense of being driven (not knowing by what) to indulge my favorite appetites to try and make me feel better – but it really doesn’t work I just get more deeply entrapped in bad habits, with a deeper sense of shame. I lack God’s power.

 

Of course I have all kinds of mental explanations for these things – but with reduced or no spiritual light I simply can’t see that the world, my flesh and the devil are having increased influence over me and I’m less able to defend myself against them. And my desire for God and my confidence in Him diminishes. I’ll even think He’s to blame.

 

Isaiah 5:13 Therefore My people are gone into captivity because they have no (new revealed) knowledge (of Me)...they are famished and parched with thirst.

Prov. 29:18 Where there is no (new daily) revelation of God (to our spirits from His word by His Spirit) the people cast off restraint (cannot control their own desires).

 

How to start your day with God

 

Jer 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Ps 63:1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You...

Isa 26:9 ...Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early...

 

1. Obedience

(a) Are you right with God, walking in total forgiveness and without care?

(b) Did you go to bed last night when God wanted you to?

(c) Did you get up this morning when God wanted you to?

(d) Won’t you start your day obeying God and therefore in righteousness?

Rom 6:16 ...Either of sin, which results in death (to God), or of obedience, which results in righteousness with God.

 

2. Priorities

Is God your first priority today and will you give Him the pre-eminence over everything and everyone else starting with your early morning time?

 

Col 1:13-18 He has delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of His love...All things (me included) were created by Him and for Him...that in all things He may have the preeminence.

 

3. Prayer

Matt 6:6 When you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, shut your door, (physically and spiritually) and pray to your Father who is in the secret Place (your spirit); and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

(a) Do you start your day with prayer to your heavenly Father?

(b) Is it silent or spoken out loud and delighting angels and driving demons away?

(c) Do you thank God for a good night’s sleep?

(d) Do you thank God for awakening you alive, and alive to Him and dead to you?

(e) Do you tell Him that you want to follow Him today, that you will deny yourself
 and take up your cross, meaning you believe your old nature was crucified with Christ, the body of your sin has been done away with, you no longer serve sin?

(f) Do you present your body to Him as a living sacrifice and as an instrument of His righteousness, because it belongs to Him and is available for His use?

(g) Do you ask Him to fill you, to lead you, to water you, to teach you, to conform you, to keep you and to use you, moment by moment, with and by His Spirit, not into temptation but to deliver you from the wicked one? Do you believe He will?

(h) Do you ask Him to give you the daily bread of His living word and to renew your inner man with the fresh revealed knowledge of Himself? And expect it?

(i) Do you ask Him to cause you to hear His lovingkindness (words) because you trust Him, to cause you to know the way in which you should walk, because you lift up your soul (will) to Him and to cause you to walk in His statutes and to keep His judgments and do them – exactly according to Psa 143:8 and Ezek 36:27?

(j) Do you affirm that it is His kingdom in which, and His power by which, you live, it is to His glory for all He is making you and doing through you – in Jesus name?

 

4. Worship

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit (from the heart, not the head) and truth (for real, not mechanically).

 

(a) Do you sincerely, ignoring feelings, take time to tell God how much you love Him for who He is and how grateful you are for all He has done and is doing for you?

(b) Do you tell Him you worship and adore Him, that you bow your knee before Him and are ready to burst into songs of praise about Him, as you lift up your holy hands in awe of Him, because He alone is worthy to receive honor and glory. For He is your God , your savior, your redeemer, your sanctifier, your life, your king and your Lord?

(c) Do you bless Him, and ask that He be glorified through you and His Church today?

 

5. Feeding

Isa 50:4 Morning by morning...He awakens my (spiritual) ear to hear...

Prov 6:22 ...When you awake, they (My words) will speak with you.

Col 3:10 ...The new man (spirit) is renewed in knowledge (God’s word, transforming him) into the image of Him (Jesus Christ) who created him..

 

(a) Having asked Him, believingly, for your daily bread how do you now receive it? Reading slowly the next Chapter or one given to you, in the Bible, or an inspired devotional for a given day, or a segment of a truth paper you’ve been drawn to? Or receiving a specific chapter and verse from God and then looking it up?

(b) What do you then do?
i - Do you ponder the verse or portion of it that is speaking to you?

ii - Ask for God to reveal what He wants you to understand by it?

iii - Make confession of a revealed sin, pray a revealed truth, intercede for a person He identifies, and give Him thanks for a wonderful revelation.

Ps 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

iv- Ask Him for counsel on people and issues upcoming for today?

v- Write down on a scratch pad or journal what you’ve received?

vi - Insure that God has nothing more for you before you move on?

vii - Keep thinking on, believing and acting on what God has said?

viii - Plan later to review your notes and then file them by subject in folders?

 

6. Habits

Do you start your day with God this way? All the men and women God greatly used started every day this way. They all found that this was the key to being able to live in Christ all through the day and being enabled by God to overcome whatever challenges the day may have brought, staying at peace, full of joy and the Holy Spirit.

 

If you are not doing this or something like this; and your heart is already saying to you that you should, then why not decide this moment to start. Begin tomorrow morning using this as a guideline and refuse to waiver. Get up early enough (going to bed early enough) to do this well before any commitments for the day. This is of God and He will bless and enable you to do it. When we stick with something, what could be more wonderful than this, for about 30 days, a good habit is now formed.

 

Prov 8:17 I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me. KJV

 

Be Blessed!

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13 hours ago, Living Stone said:

God gets crowded out

 

 Somehow I got up and went for about a 5 mile run about 5:45 AM. During my runs I will spontaneously talk (pray) to Jesus. When I read the above above last night this expression really hit me while I was talking to Jesus this morning. I hope to prioritize my time better with God throughout the day and each and every day.

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