Friday, April 11, 2014

"First Matters of the Day"

     Our spiritual enemies tempt us from the first moment of wakefulness with the prodding to make the new day about ourselves.  “How do I feel?... What do I need to do today?... Where must I go?... What problems linger from yesterday?.”  On and on the list goes of valid questions to be addressed and challenges to be faced.  They must not, however, comprise the first matters of the day.  We rather do well to quickly direct our hearts upward, outward, and away to the true reason for our existence. 

     “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).
     “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mark 22:37-39).

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus exist in the very love of God.  He loved us and loves us.  Moreover, He freely gave to us the Holy Spirit, by whom “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts” (Romans 5:5).   Thus, as we awaken, we do not have to dig a hole and jump into the pit of dark self centeredness to which our enemies invite us.  Instead, we can remember and affirm our belovedness in the heart of God, and we can devote ourselves to the glory of loving Him and others as the primary purpose of the day.  We ascend to the summit of our life and being in Christ, again, gazing upward, outward, and away to the glorious vista of a life lived as He lives, namely, for God and for others.

     In such devotion, we do not fail to attend to personal matters.  In fact, we deal with them far better because we recognize their role in enabling us to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us” (Ephesians 5:2).  We see everything more clearly because God directs our focus upon the first matters of His glory, will, and eternal purpose in Christ, and upon the needs of others in our sphere of influence.  Beautiful indeed is the vista of God’s love wherein we may blessedly begin our days looking upward, outward, and away from ourselves…

“In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 2:3-5)

Weekly Memory Verse
     Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
(Romans 12:19)

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