Summary: If morning devotions were important to Jesus and David, they should also be important to us, if not more vital to our spiritual sustenance.
Do You Give God the First Fruits of Your Day (Mark 1:35-37)
Introduction: The shortening of private devotions starves the soul. William Wilberforce, Christian statesman of Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, once said, “I must secure more time for private devotions.” Following a failure in Parliament, he stated that his problems may have been due to the fact that he spent less and less time in his private devotions in which he could earnestly seek the will of God. He concluded, “God allowed me to stumble.”
If we do not earnestly seek for the will of God in our lives, He will let us stumble. The morning is an excellent time for devotions. If you schedule to do it during your day or in the evening, what happens when your day or evening become so hectic that your devotion time gets pushed out of the line up?
By having communion with God the Father in the morning, we are saying, “God, you are most important in my priorities and I will give you the first fruit of my day.” If we allow time for God first thing in the morning, He will bring together the rest of your day. You will be full spiritually and will not be hungry for this world. If you wait until later to have devotions with your Father, it most likely gets pushed out of the line up and never gets done, sometimes going days without talking with God or reading His Word. You will fill yourself up with the world and be to stuffed to eat spiritually when you get home.
1. Jesus even wanted to show us the importance of morning devotions with God. Even though Jesus kept a very busy schedule, He always put communion with His Heavenly Father first as a priority before everything else in His day. We also should put God first in the mornings as He then programs our thinking toward thinking above rather than the cares of this earth. “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).
2. Jesus wants us to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness and this begins with how we set our mind, emotions, and behavioral direction during the first part of each day. What we think about, we become. If we start each day with worship, praise, and abiding with the Vine (God) we will bear much fruit. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5-7)
3. Jesus awoke before daybreak because he wanted to avoid the distractions that would come from people, events, and duties. We should also set an appointment with the Lord that we will not miss or put off. A good time is in the morning before all of the distractions of this world. Give God the rights to your schedule and He will help you maximize your contributions in all areas or your relationships, activities, and ministries. Do not be choked out by the worries, pleasures, and troubles of this life. (Mark 4:1-22)
4. Jesus did not mind the criticism from people who did not understand the urgency of what He was doing. The disciples said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Jesus did not give into the sense of urgency that others wanted to project on Him. He focused on the Father and accomplishing God’s will. When and if we are focused on God’s will, we will not fear what people think of us. We need to learn how to have a reverence and fear of God more than we do people. In the fear of the Lord is riches, honor, and life. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord and keeps His commandments. He will not fear when the evil day comes because his heart will be steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:1-2)
5. Jesus’ example encouraged other great men to make morning devotions a key place where they would find direction, inspiration, and comfort in times of need. The only way to find true direction is through close communion times with the Lord.
6. Jesus followed the Word of God in giving the Father first place in His thoughts, prayers and activities. David writes, “Let me hear your loving kindness in the morning for I trust in You. Make me to know the way in which I should walk for to You I lift my soul” (Psalm 143:8-11). By having our devotion time in the morning, we can ask God to lead us in the direction in which we should go for the day. Ask for God’s provision, guidance, and protection. I would recommend that you spend at least 15 minutes in devotion with God every morning, if not more.