How Do You Begin Your Day?

Much has been written and discussed about technology’s encroachment on our lives. I’ve been greatly aided by friends who have looked at this problem with a theological eye (Note Tim Challies book, The Next Story and Al Mohler’s many blogposts on the subject). Most agree that computers, tablets, smart phones, and social media are not going away. In fact, we can expect the avalanche to get bigger (Have you chosen your circles for Google+ yet?).

This has made me think a lot as we stand on the porch of a new year. Kim and I have been talking about what Bible reading plan we are going to use this year. If you are undecided, Justin Taylor has some helpful options. And thinking about a new year of Bible reading has made me reconsider my schedule, which is always a humbling reflection of my priorities.

Looking back over the habits I’ve formed over the past year has, well, deeply disappointed me. The question I am asking myself is what is the first leaning of my heart when I wake up. I remember hearing C.J. Mahaney explain the battle he faces each morning when he wakes up and attacking his flesh with prayer at his first waking moment. I think we are all on the same battlefield.

So what is the first thing you do when you wake up? Here’s my problem. I find it easy to grab my iPhone and check my email, glance at social media notifications, see if there are any texts awaiting a response, and look at the news and sports feeds. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing these things. But my problem is that this is much easier and feels more urgent when I awake than addressing the thirst of my soul for God.

Back to the question, what is the first concern of your day?

I’m not much on New Year’s resolutions, but this is one area I want to focus on this year. Is there a better way to begin the day than with the thought of God? Maurice Roberts writes:

The thought of God should be the Christian’s panacea. It should cure all ills at a stroke. And what an infinity there is in the thought of God! Nothing can approach in beauty to the idea of the true and living God. That there exists a Being who is infinite in power, knowledge and goodness, that that Being cares for me with a perfect love as though I were the only man in existence, that He loved me before I was born and created me to enjoy Him eternally and that He sent his Son to suffer the agony of the cross to secure my eternal happiness—that, surely must be the thought to end all sorrow.

My prayer for my own soul, and yours, is that we develop the discipline of beginning the day with the thought of God, fed by the Word of God, for the glory of God, and enjoy the grace of God for our days.

Here are a few simple suggestions for starting your day before you even get out of bed.

  1. Pray. Ask God for His grace to motivate you to approach this day as His holy child and faithful ambassador.
  2. Think. Even before you begin this new day, revisit what you learned of God and the gospel yesterday. This will begin a chain link of Godward thinking.
  3. Plan. How will you prioritize your reading of God’s Word today? Hopefully, this plan has already been made. But making a fresh commitment before your feet hit the ground to execute that plan will greatly increase your control over your day.
  4. Say “No!” Every morning will bring new opportunities to do things other than spiritual disciplines. Learn to say “No!” to those things because you have another set of commitments to do before getting to them.

Much more could be said. You can add your comments below to help us in the discipline of beginning the day. For 2012, I want to have better beginnings to my days. I hope you do too.

18 Comments on “How Do You Begin Your Day?

  1. awesome post. i like #1-4plan of action..i might try it tomorrow. some other ideas to help start the day…waking up earlier, sitting up in bed, and perhaps reviewing a favorite memory verse… I haven’t gotten my hands on Tim Challies book yet but I’m encouraged to do so. :)

  2. Pingback: The Good Stuff (12-30-11) | Rural Theologian

  3. I find that thinking about an attribute of God that I so dearly love and adore realy gets me going. His attribute of holiness creates a wellspring of thoughts and affections. It is one of the most pleasurable things to spend your waking hours on. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. How beautiful! My favorite verse in Scripture is: ” Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory (Isa 6:3).”

    One book I highly recommend is Authur Pink’s “The Attributes of God.” If that does not speak to your heart, I don’t know what will.

  4. Real down to earth thougths on this. It is so hard to have any rational thought at all before getting out of bed. I may need to print this plan out and leave it next to the bed. I apreciate the encouragement. Before sleep I tend to thank God for his grace and mercy for the day and try going to sleep just worshipping Him.

  5. Pingback: How do you begin your day? | da.rryl.me

  6. Pingback: 4 things to do before you get out of bed | blog of dan

  7. I absolutely love this post. The more filters we have in our lives; the better. Starting my day with thoughts of Him helps me keep focused throughout the day. Reading His word is vital. I also have mini calendars with verses, with applications, visible. Listening to Christian music, Christian radio programs, talking with others, thinking about the message from Sunday, etc. I also enjoy reading what others post on FB, emails and other sources. There are so many ways we can encourage each other. When out and about, opportunities abound. There are numerous ways to be involved and engaged with Him and others. Paul is a good example-if only I can be a fraction of who he was….his devotion to Christ and His word…and to others. No one can overdue it when it comes to focusing on Him.

  8. Rick,
    I am thanking the Lord for you & your post. As a pastor, I needed this admonition. Thank you. Grace & Peace

  9. Rick, thank you for this…as a Mommy of three who never seems to have enough time…for sleep, bible reading, prayer, let alone other normal and necessary morning activities…I NEEDED this reminder to be purposeful in whatever time I do have. I too often reach for my phone, and I hate knowing I’ve wasted even a few precious minutes because sometimes that’s all I have before someone is calling for my attention.

    Thank you for being my pastor, even from so very far away!!

  10. Pingback: 2012 Bible Reading Plans | Feed My Church

  11. Rick Holland stated, “This is much easier and feels more ‘urgent’ when I awake”…..which reminded me of a little book I read many years ago entitled, “Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles Hummel. A periodic review of Hummel’s key points reinforces for me the importance of staying focused and balanced when dealing with the daily issue of establishing priorities. As Hummel points out, our example is the Lord Himself who could say on the night before He died, after a short life of 30 years or so, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.” (John 17:4)

    Hummel concludes, “The way is clear. If we continue in the Word of our Lord, we are truly His disciples. And He will free us from the tyranny of the urgent, free us to do the important, which is the will of God.”

  12. Pingback: Battling at the beginning of every day « Strengthened by Grace

  13. When I started my blog about 100 days ago, I started writing for it when I first woke up every morning. Now, I’m trying to alter that habit by praying first before I write for the blog. It’s been difficult, but rewarding. I’d like to maintain a habit of praying first thing in the morning for the rest of my life.

  14. Pingback: How Do You Begin Your Day? | Grace Church AZ

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