Our mornings are important. Whether we want to admit it or not, the way we begin the day, sets the tone for the rest of the day. I am sure you know exactly what I mean. Think of some of your worst days lately… Did they begin with lost shoes? Spilled coffee? Or a sick child?
I know for me, in the past, I had a student who would come in all worked up. He would be impossible to calm down. Some mornings he would just pace around my classroom, ranting about whatever issue ticked him off that morning. And many mornings, I let him set the tone for my day. The rest of my poor students, and probably on into my family, suffered – all because of my challenging beginning.
Can you relate? Beginnings are important. That’s why we have the saying “Start off on the right foot.” And that is why mornings are important.
I highly recommend you managing your morning so that you have a quiet time before things get crazy, but I also know that for some, that just may not be possible. So if you schedule is where you don’t have time to get on your knees and open your Bible in the morning (make sure you do it later), at least take a few minutes to focus your day. Just a minute or two standing at your bathroom mirror. A prayer in the shower. A moment of reflection while the coffee brews. Just find a moment.
And if you do have that quiet time each morning, I know sometimes it can get bogged down in bigger issues, struggles of the heart, long term prayer requests…
So no matter which group you fall into, think about taking a moment to focus your day around these three questions.
1. Lord, today, show me your glory.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40
Okay, so I realize that this first questions is not a question at all. It is actually an imperative statement – giving a command. I am an English teacher… I got it. But, the point is the same.
Each day we should begin by first looking up. Each day should begin with a request to see the glory of God. Can you imagine how differently your day would go if you intentionally – first, asked God to show you His glory, daily – and then made a point to look for it – daily?
I am reminded of the lyrics to a George Strait song (yes, I love him). In the song entitled “I Saw God Today,” he says saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk / pushing up through the concrete / like it was planted right there for me to see. Now how many times have we missed the glory of God pushing up through the sidewalk because we were too busy or distracted to look for it?
I bet you can also think of times where God snatched your attention away and forced your focus on His glory because He knew you really needed it. And what a relief that He did that. I am sure it helped you refocus many things.
I know as I have grown closer to God, I have witnessed His glory more often. It’s not that He has more glory now than before. It is that I am now training myself to look for it. While I still have a long way to go, life is better when I catch a glimpse of it through God’s eyes, when I see His glory in situations that may have seemed void of holiness at first.
I even think back to my student who would come in all ruffled in the mornings and then I would get all ruffled. Wonder what would have happened if I had asked God to show me His glory each morning, if I had been searching for God’s glory in that situation…
2. What do you have for me today, Lord?
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15
So it is important to begin each day looking up, and it is also important to begin each day looking in. This is not a selfish question, like will I finally win the lottery today? This question is much harder than that. This is a question about personal growth. This question is more like – How can I grow today, Lord?
I know this is not an easy question to ask because to recognize we need to grow means we are recognizing areas of weakness, and no one wants to do that. It’s like bathing suit shopping and looking in the mirror and seeing all our flaws exposed.
That’s just not fun. But our Lord is so much better than an ill fitting bathing suit. He doesn’t look at our flaws. He looks at our potential. He sees what we are capable of and we should to.
Imagine if we started each morning asking the Lord – How can I reach my potential through you today? How can your power be used in me to make me the best I can possibly be?
Not only would each day be transformed, but I am guessing our entire lives would be transformed. Through searching for the real answer to this question on the small scale of everyday, we could change our entire lives on a much larger scale. This small step could be the first step to truly finding God’s will in our lives.
3. How can I serve today, Lord?
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
And I think this question is a great follow up to number two, because God wants us looking in, for sure, but only so that we can look out. God grows us spiritually, so that we can serve others. Our job is to grow others through the power of God, while He does the same for us.
For this reason, we should begin each day asking, How can I serve today, Lord?
Look to the example of Christ. That was his soul purpose in coming to this earth, to serve others. He came first to serve through miracles and teaching and went on to be the ultimate payment for our sins. He literally sacrificed His life for us, so that we could spend eternity in heaven.
Do you realize we have that same power in us? No, we are not perfect. No, if we die on the cross it will mean nothing. BUT, our service can lead others to heaven. We can point others to the cross.
Knowing that should be a huge motivation to serve. Each morning, ask God to reveal ways you can serve others that day. It doesn’t have to be major – all though He may lay on your heart a big project – many days it may be a simple act of service. Picking up coffee for someone. Writing an encouraging note. Helping someone with their groceries.
Regardless of the level of service, it is important to set our focus each morning. It is not about us. It is about us serving others. That is the example that Jesus set and that should be our daily motivation – serving others so that they can see Christ in us (I know that is hard and takes some work).
But focus on the pattern here. First begin by asking to see God’s glory. Look up to Him. When we see his glory, we will have strong desire to be more like Him. The spirit will not let His glory go out void. And as we strive to be more like God, He will direct us to service. That is the example given to us time and time again.
So if we can make a these questions a daily focus – just by beginning our day a little differently, seeing our moments from a different perspective, we can change our lives.
These questions may be just the beginning, if, each morning, we genuinely allow them to be our focus…