many years I lived a defeated, backslidden Christian life, then one day, God sent a woman to knock on my door (one of those "visits" backslidden
folks hate so much!) to give me some very wise counsel--which I pass on to hungry hearts everywhere. Her obedience
and wise counsel changed my life.
She came to tell me that if I would read just four chapters a day from
the Bible, I would read the entire Bible through, in its entirety, once every year and the New Testament twice.
1981, I have been reading my Bible every day-- always picking up today where I left off yesterday. The Word of God transformed
my heart and mind, and to this day, over 30 years later, I have never been a defeated, backslidden Christian since.
Have times always been easy? No.
Have I made mistakes and sinned? Yes
But taking that good advice and following wise counsel added a strength to
my life I would not otherwise have experienced, and has even saved my life on more than one occasion.
I made a commitment
back then, to establish time with the LORD every day--and have kept that commitment. I confess that it was much
more difficult at first than it is now.
As a result of
that early commitment to discipline, I always spend time in the Word of God (and visit with the Lord) first thing
in the morning. The first thing I reach for when I get up every day is my coffee cup--the second thing is my Bible. I allow the Word of God to
seep into my sleepy consciousness each morning as I enjoy my first cup of steaming coffee (I usually drink
1 to 2), and ease into full wakefulness and look forward to the day ahead.
fail, after just a few minutes, Jesus and I are having a good visit (it is always more
than just reading--it really is a deeply personal time with the Lord).
Some may object,
claiming that getting up to a secular job every day makes morning time for the Bible impossible.
answer to that is we can't afford not to make time for Jesus first thing in the morning. Devotions
for family later in the day or evening are wonderful and should be done, but that does not replace personal time in the mornings.
When my children
were young, I had to be finished with my personal time with the Lord before 6am in order to get them ready for school. Then, for many years after
that, I had to get up in time to be ready for work five mornings a week.
Sometimes my job required
me to travel extensively (I remember one period of time when I was regularly on the road for six
weeks of eight!). My morning visit with Jesus went with me--I did not leave my routine at home. I was reaping the benefit of
establishing that good habit at a time when life was very hectic and exhausting for me.
I remember another
occasion when I was required to work from 8:00 each morning to 10:00 or 11:00 each night for a short period of time (and had
an hour commute each way on top of that). During that time my routine did not vary.
Making time for the Word of God is a vital component
to our overall relationship with God. Hectic work schedules, business, family obligations, or the fact that we
simply may not like to read, are not good reasons not to intentionally feed our spirits life and purposefully develop a relationship
with our savior that can never be as full as it should be if we do not take the time to get to know him by reading his Word.
We all know that each one of us makes the time for things that are truly important