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Beginning your day with God can really make the day rich and meaningful, not to mention successful in ways you never dreamed possible. The time you sow in the morning is a precious seed that brings forth a beautiful day filled with strength, joy, and a love made sweeter because it begins with the One who loves you best.
Good Morning, God is a wonderful morning devotional filled with inspiring scriptures, true-to-life stories, and encouraging reflections to help you fulfill the promise of each new day that your loving heavenly Father has given you to enjoy.
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GOOD MORNING, GOD
WAKE-UP DEVOTIONS TO START YOUR DAY GOD'S WAY
By David C. Cook
David C. CookCopyright © 2012 David C Cook
All rights reserved.
THE FIRST MORNING
* * *
What a joy it must have been for the first man and woman to awaken that first morning after their creation!
Before them lay a beautiful garden without blemish, a harmonious creation without turmoil, an orderly environment without a weed or thorn. Most wonderful of all, they freely walked and talked with the Lord in the cool of the day. Wouldn't you love to experience that glorious state for one morning! Eleanor Farjeon must have felt the same elation when she penned the words to her now internationally famous hymn:
"Morning has broken like the first morning;
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the Morning!
Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain's new fall sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew-fall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Spring in completeness where his feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, praise every morning,
God's recreation of the new day!"
While we may not awaken to a perfect, pristine world in our natural bodies, we can awaken to a "brand-new day" in our minds and hearts. We can walk and talk with the Lord all day long. Each day the Lord presents to His beloved children wondrous possibilities to explore with Him.
Let us always remember that He is the Creator and our loving Father. No matter what state we find ourselves in, He can create something new in us, for us, and through us. What cause for praise! His next act of creation is waiting to unfold as we yield our life to Him this morning and throughout our day!
HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
TURN ON THE HEADLIGHTS
* * *
A woman confessed to a friend her confusion and hesitancy about an important life decision she faced. She professed to believe in God, but could not bring herself to rely on her faith to make that decision that weighed heavily on her.
"How can I know I'm doing the right thing?" she asked. "How can I possibly believe my decision will be right when I can't even see tomorrow?"
Her friend thought and then replied, "Here's how I look at it. When you drive down a dark country road without streetlights to offer you any notion of where you are, it's a little scary. You must rely on your headlights. They may only show you ten yards of the road in front of you, but you can see where to go for that little stretch of the road. As you travel the distance, the headlights show you ten more yards, and then ten more, until eventually you reach your destination safely."
When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.
* * *
THY WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET, AND A LIGHT UNTO MY PATH.
Psalm 119:105 KJV
YOU ARE PRECIOUS
* * *
A young woman named June volunteered at a church agency that served the poor and homeless of her city. One day June met George, who had come in to receive some help. Winter was coming and he needed a jacket and some shoes to help keep him warm.
He took a seat in the chapel because the waiting room was crowded and noisy. When he indicated he wanted a Bible, June went to get one for him while he waited his turn in the clothing room. When she returned with a Bible, she sat down to talk to him for a while.
George looked like he was in his late '50s or early '60s. June noticed his thin hair beginning to gray and the deep lines which marked his face. His hands were stiff and he had lost part of one finger. Although it was 1:30 in the afternoon, he smelled slightly of alcohol. He was a short, slight man, and he spoke softly. He had come into the agency alone, and June wondered if he had any family—anyone who cared that he existed.
June wrote George's name in the front of his Bible along with the date. Then she showed him the study helps in the back, which would help him find key passages.
As they talked, the thought occurred to June: George is one of God's very precious creatures. She wondered if George knew that. She wondered how long it had been since someone had told him. What if no one had ever told him he was precious to God—and to all God's other children as well?
George had very little influence or stature, but God spoke to June through him that day, "My children need to know they are precious to Me. Please tell them that." Since then, she has made that message a part of every encounter she has at the church agency.
Ask the Lord how you might share the message, "You are precious to God," with others today through your words and actions.
* * *
SINCE THOU WAST PRECIOUS IN MY SIGHT, THOU HAST BEEN HONOURABLE, AND I HAVE LOVED THEE.
Isaiah 43:4 KJV
THE BIGGER PICTURE
* * *
During World War II, thousands in factories across the United States constructed parachutes. From the worker's point of view, the job was tedious. It required stitching endless lengths of colorless fabric, crouched over a sewing machine eight to ten hours a day. A day's work produced a formless, massive heap of cloth with no visible resemblance to a parachute.
In order to motivate workers and keep them concerned with quality, the management in one factory held a meeting. Management informed workers each day of the approximate number of parachutes that had been strapped to the back of pilots, copilots, and other "flying" personnel the previous day. They learned just how many men had jumped to safety from disabled planes as a result of their high-quality work. The managers encouraged their workers to see the big picture on their job.
As a second means of motivation, the workers were asked to form a mental picture of a husband, brother, or son who might be the one saved by the parachute they sewed.
That factory held one of the highest levels of quality on record!
Don't let the tedium of each day's chores and responsibilities wear you down so you only see the "stitching" in front of you. Keep your eyes on the big picture. Focus on why you do what you do and who will benefit from your work, including those you don't know and may never meet. You may not have all the answers to the question, "Why am I here?" but you can rest assured, the Lord does!
Ultimately, the Bible tells us we will be in heaven for eternity—and that is the biggest picture of all! God is preparing us for heaven, just as He is preparing heaven for us. He is creating us to be the people He wants to live with forever.
Whatever mundane tasks or trivial pursuits you undertake today, see them in the light of eternity. They will take on a whole new meaning!
* * *
"I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO."
John 14:2-3 NKJV
A FAMILIAR VOICE
* * *
A young mother alone with her preschoolers for a week while her husband was away on a business trip found the fourth day particularly exasperating. After several bedtime stories, she finally succeeded in putting the energetic children to bed and decided to relax. She changed into an old pair of sweats and began to shampoo her hair when she heard the children jumping around in their room.
Wrapping a towel around her head, she went to scold them. As she walked out of the children's room, she overhead the littlest one ask, "Who was that?"
In our busy lives we often overlook God's presence. We can become so involved in the task at hand that we fail to recognize His voice Then we miss His guidance and grace. Have you ever found yourself asking, "Who was that?" only later to realize that is was indeed God?
He wants us to know Him so well that we immediately recognize His voice and obey His commands. There is no better way to know His voice than through an intimate relationship with Him. A perfect time to develop an awareness of the Father's voice is in the early morning when we can quietly listen.
* * *
"THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM BECAUSE THEY KNOW HIS VOICE."
John 10:4 NASB
* * *
In his classic self-help book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve." His premise, and that of many others, is that once the human mind is programmed with a certain expectation, it will begin to fulfill that expectation.
The Scriptures declared this principle long before Hill wrote his book. Faith believes and then sees. It is the expectation of a miracle before it occurs.
The Aluminum Company of America coined an interesting word: imagineering. They combined the idea of imagining a product or service, with the idea that the dream would then be engineered into a reality. Throughout history we've seen this principle at work.
* A primitive ancestor came up with the idea that it was easier to roll objects than drag them—and he carved a wheel from stone.
* A man named Gutenberg imagined that letters might be set in metal and combined to create words, which then could be printed repeatedly with the application of ink. He set about to make such a machine.
* Men designed cathedrals that took decades to build—but build them they did.
Ideas and dreams you have today will directly influence your future. What you begin to believe for, and then how you act on that belief, will result in what you have, do, and are in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
Let your "faith imagination" soar today. Believe for God's highest and best in your life. Then begin to live and work as if that miracle is on its way.
* * *
FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.
HEBREWS 11:1 NKJV
SHARE YOUR MORNING
* * *
Most people wake up to an alarm clock ringing at an appointed hour rather than to a rooster crowing in the barnyard. However, for the apostle Peter the crowing rooster on the early morning of Jesus' crucifixion was a wake-up call. It woke him up to who he really was. In Peter's worst moment, he denied his friend and teacher, Jesus. He wept bitterly over his betrayal, and must have experienced terrible guilt and shame.
One morning after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples, who were fishing at the Sea of Tiberias. He called out from the shore and asked if they had caught any fish. The disciples didn't recognize Him and called back, "No." Jesus told them to throw the net on the other side of the boat, and the catch was so great they were unable to haul it in. They then knew the man directing them was Jesus and headed to shore.
When the disciples arrived, Jesus invited them to eat with Him. "Come and have breakfast," He said. In the dawning hours of the day, the resurrected Jesus cooked breakfast for them.
How do you think Peter felt when, after the greatest failure of his life, Jesus wanted to spend time with him, eat with him, and even help him fish? Jesus sought out the disciple who had let Him down when He needed him most. Moreover, He called Peter to lead His followers.
Like Peter, there are experiences in our days that serve as "wake-up calls" to who we claim to be. Those "wake-up calls" come in the form of opportunities to compromise who we are and what we believe. How do we act when others aren't around? How do we handle situations that can violate our integrity? To live a compromised life is to deny Jesus—just as Peter did. (See Titus 1:16.)
It is always important for us to spend time with the Lord, but when we need to come clean in our heart, it is especially important. Jesus always invites us to fellowship with Him. He always forgives.
Whatever mistakes or compromises we made yesterday, Jesus still loves us today and says, "Come and share your morning with Me."
"YOU, O LORD, ... KNOW THE HEARTS OF ALL."
ACTS 1:24 NKJV
LOOK WITH THE HEART
* * *
Maria, a kindhearted teacher's aide, simply wanted to "love the children better" in the class for emotionally disturbed students. She could tolerate much, but Danny wore her patience out. It proved easier to love him when he tried to hurt himself rather than others. Although Danny was only seven years old, it really hurt when he hit Maria.
For months Danny withdrew into a private world and tried to hit his head against a wall any time he became upset. But now, he was making progress because his actions changed from withdrawal to striking out at Maria.
"Progress?" exclaimed Maria. "How is it progress for him to want to hurt me?"
"Danny was repeatedly abused as a small child," explained the school psychologist. "He has known only adults who were mean to him or simply ignored his most basic needs. He has had no one he could trust. No one to hold him close; no one to dry his tears when he cried or fix him food when he was hungry. He experienced punishment without reason. He's making progress because for the first time in his life, he trusts an adult enough to act out his anger rather than self-destruct. You are that trustworthy adult, Maria."
Tears spilled from Maria's eyes upon hearing the explanation as she exclaimed, "I see!" As comprehension dawned, her anger quickly melted.
John Ruskin wrote, "When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece." Sometimes progress seems elusive, but God faithfully continues the good work He started in each of our lives. If we will open the eyes of our hearts, we will see His hand at work in our midst.
"GIVE YOUR SERVANT A DISCERNING HEART."
1 Kings 3:9
* * *
The predawn air had a distinct chill to it when the pickup truck horn sounded each morning that summer. Rob would wander out to the truck where Ben waited. Farmers hired Ben with his New Holland hay stacker to collect the baled hay from their fields and build large square haystacks for feeding the livestock during the winter.
The work itself was always the same, but the ease of doing it varied tremendously because of the type of hay. Alfalfa made tight, hard bales that were easy to handle. Wheat made looser bales that were apt to break apart and thus were much more work.
The first thing, Rob would ask, "Are we working wheat again today?" He always hoped for alfalfa, but without fail, it seemed, Ben would respond, "Yep, wheat it is." Rob would then doze until they arrived at the fields. Once there, they enjoyed a cup of coffee and watched the sun rise into the still morning air before the long day of hard work. Neither said much during those times, nor was it necessary.
Ben retired and Rob has a family of his own. They rarely see one another now, but when they do, it doesn't take long for the conversation to turn to that special summer. Each man recalls different lessons learned from their work together, but a common one is their shared belief that finding God's will requires a commitment to serving Him no matter how hard—or easy—the work.
God's presence is like that. It's not what is said or not said that matters so much as it is the being together and the lessons we learn.
* * *
IT IS YOU, A MAN LIKE MYSELF, MY COMPANION, MY CLOSE FRIEND.
* * *
So many of us find the morning as a rush hour. Various family members scurry in different directions with various needs and diverse timetables. One has lost a sock; another can't find last night's homework. One needs a sack lunch; another needs lunch money. One leaves with a kiss, another with a shout, and another needs encouragement to open her eyes as she stumbles out the door.
A "quiet time" in the morning to center ourselves and to renew our relationship with our Heavenly Father stands in sharp contrast. Carving out that time for yourself may be your supreme challenge of the day, but it is an effort worth its weight in gold, as so aptly stated by Bruce Fogarty:
THE MORNING HOUR
Alone with God, in quiet peace, From earthly cares, I find release; New strength I borrow for each day As there with God, I stop to pray.
Alone with God, my sins confess'd, He speaks in mercy, I am blest. I know the kiss of pardon free, I talk to God, He talks to me.
Alone with God, my vision clears, I see my guilt, the wasted years. I plead for grace to walk His way And live for Him, from day to day.
Alone with God no sin between, His lovely face so plainly seen; My guilt all gone, my heart at rest With Christ, my Lord, my soul is blest.
Lord, keep my life alone for Thee; From sin and self, Lord, set me free. And when no more this earth I trod, They'll say, "He walked alone with God."
Excerpted from GOOD MORNING, GOD by David C. Cook. Copyright © 2012 David C Cook. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
THE FIRST MORNING,
TURN ON THE HEADLIGHTS,
YOU ARE PRECIOUS,
THE BIGGER PICTURE,
A FAMILIAR VOICE,
SHARE YOUR MORNING,
LOOK WITH THE HEART,
MAKE IT RIGHT,
LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN,
CO-CREATORS WITH HIM!,
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN, YOU CAN,
IF ONLY FOR ONE,
A REFLECTION OF FORGIVENESS,
OUR FINEST HOUR,
FINISH THE COURSE,
CONFIDENCE IN THE CHARACTER OF GOD,
EXPECT A TURNABOUT,
A BROADER PERSPECTIVE,
A MOMENT OF TRUTH,
EXPLORE GOD'S DREAM,
ARISE AND SHINE,
RISK AND REWARD,
SHARE YOUR TALENTS,
THE BIG AUDITION,
FRUIT TO SHARE,
CAPACITY FOR LOVE,
A TASK FOR JESUS,
WITH THE MASTER,
POSITIONED IN CHRIST,
ON A BETTER NOTE!,
INFUSED WITH STRENGTH,
WITH A LISTENING HEART,
PEACEFUL OBEDIENCE AND REST,
NEVER GIVE UP!,
PURSUE YOUR DREAM,
A PERFECT SCORE,
TENACITY OF A BULLDOG,
WHAT DO YOU THINK?,
A DIFFERENT ANGLE,
ONLY THE FACTS,
NO IDENTITY CRISIS,
LEAVE A LEGACY,
A MOMENT TO PRAY,
A LISTENING EAR,
RICH IN CONTENTMENT,
KNOW THE ARTIST,
CONTINUE TO BUILD,
EMBRACE YOUR DAY,
GET A BOOST,
THE MORNING REPORT,
MAKE IT COUNT!,
DO IT DIFFERENTLY,
THE FACE OF GOD,
THE FULL PICTURE,
DESTINED FOR GREATNESS,
THAT FIRST CUP,
JOURNEY TOWARD SUNRISE,
FEEL THE POWER!,
LIKE A NEWBORN BABE,
GOOD MORNING, LORD,