Monday, May 23, 2016

First Things First

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Gratitude Year 4-Day 144: Today, I am grateful for the choice to put "first things first". 

I love to start my day with coffee and Jesus. He does not require make-up or even combed hair. It is a sweet and intimate thing to start the day with a little worship and The Word. 

“but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God. -Oswald Chambers

Wise words for good living. Chambers sets a lofty goal of "every public thing". I would... but my thoughts can be so un-Christlike, even if I don't speak them.  Other times they slip right out ... before my brain is fully engaged.  

Remember "Steven Urkel" from Family Matters. "Did I do that?"  Usually the answer was "yes".  Sometimes he had good intentions, but he was an awkward mess.  Don't we all identify with Urkel just a little? Every day holds new opportunities... but I unintentionally miss them or mess them up. I need to adjust...and sometimes clear my see more of what He sees. 

I am thankful for the difference that "first things first" can make in the day.  For me, there is nothing more grounding than starting the day with a cup of gratitude, praise, adoration, and conversation with God. It is the one thing that changes everything else. It means getting up earlier than I need to wake up, but I love the stillness of the morning. First things first. 

Some days...He sends a word or a warning that lets me know the day is going to be a wild ride. I like a little warning. Prayer is a a conversation. Listening takes time...but it is where much of the good stuff takes place. 

Our soul waits for the Lordhe is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. -Psalm 27:14 

David knew the value of the waiting and listening part of prayer. Trusting in God yielded joy. David wore a sense of "whatever the day may's your day, Lord". I can learn by that example. 

“So you, by the help of your God, return,  hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.” -Hosea 12:5-7

Another great nugget on waiting. 

“So you, by the help of your God, return,
    hold fast to love and justice,
    and wait continually for your God.” -Habakkuk 2:3 Habakkuk, too.

As we stand in front this one day... we pray, we listen...and we wait. When we look to the days ahead...we pray...we listen and we wait. 

 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. -Romans 8:24-26
This passage has come up several times recently. It is a lesson in waiting with patience and letting the Spirit comfort and carry the cries of our hearts to the throne.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt; -Jude 1:20-22 

Keep yourselves in love. Wait on the Lord. Let him lead the way...the destination is really sweet. Show mercy toward those who doubt. Be merciful when doubt slips in uninvited. 

Today, I am grateful for the choice...and the daily opportunity... to put "first things first". 

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