“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
One of my greatest joys is hearing the birds outside of my house each morning. The enthusiasm they have for every new sunrise makes my heart swell. I love my mornings. I usually get up between 5 and 5:30am, shuffle my way to the kitchen, let Harley and Charlie out the back door, and then make my pot of coffee. After it’s brewed, I fill up a cup, and then head downstairs to my study. I call it a study, but it’s really just a reading room.
In this room I have two big, plush leather seats, with an ottoman, along with a small fancy table in-between them that a lamp sets on. A bookshelf with all of my most favorite reads is on the opposite side of the room, and the walls are completely adorn with the words of Christ, the apostle Paul, as well as other famous Scriptures that even non-believers know.
But my most favorite part of this room is the centerpiece which hangs on its own wall with nothing else, an oversize painting of Jesus on the Cross with red words carefully brushed across His chest and arms from one nail to the other: “NO GREATER LOVE THAN THIS.”
My friendly neighbor who is a great artist painted this masterpiece for me a couple years ago. It is absolutely magnificent.
So, each day, with coffee in hand, I tuck myself into this comfy chair, wrap the throw blanket around my lower torso, and open up my Bible. Although the Holy Spirit teaches me new things all day long, this time of the day my focus is solely on Him with no distractions, so it’s as if He is more clear during my devotional time. And as I read, pray, and banter with my Creator, He supernaturally jump-starts my gift of writing, and off I go.
I can’t describe how this happens–my love of writing through Christ–it just happens. Even with all of the adjectives stored up in my vocabulary, trying to explain what it feels like when my gift is activated each morning…well…it is out of this world—it’s not “worldly.” That’s the best I got. It’s not of this world when God says, “Matthew, write about this,” and then stuff just starts to flow from my fingertips without any effort. When I’m done, sometimes I sit back and think, “Where did this come from?” It has got to be the Holy Spirit.
I love this time of day. The people who are sleeping in are missing out. I believe this dedicated, personal, one-on-one time with God has made me the man I am today. I don’t know how I lived for so many years without using this time of day to build up my relationship with Him. Of course, I had to begin going to bed an hour earlier each night, but that last episode of Dateline or the 4th quarter of the game could wait. I needed my rest. I had an appointment with God Almighty first thing in the A.M.
Again, I want to stress that God is with us at all times of the day (because we are hidden inside Him, see Colossians 3:3), but when you dedicate a portion of your day to getting to know Him better, He rewards you with that very thing.
In the beginning of me doing this, Grace and Jennifer would call me an old man because I’d say, “Goodnight, I love you,” and then head off to bed at 9pm. But I like my sleep, and I like to rise and shine when the birds do. Further, God has taught me it’s imperative that I’m fully rested physically if I want to enjoy being fully rested in my mind.
But as I sit here, sometimes I’ll be very still…I’ll stop reading or writing, just look up, and sit quiet…I want to take in God’s presence. The Bible says that we are to, “Be still and know that He is God” (see Psalm 46:10)…so I do that… … …just… …silence. Nothing else…no worries about the ensuing day…no regrets over the previous one…no planning…no thoughts about anything except knowing that God is God.
As I sit here I’ll soon say something to God, praising His greatness, like, “Wow. You are holding all of this together. How unsearchable is your power. Thank you for letting me be a part of this.” All I have for Him at this moment is just…gratitude.
While making myself more aware of God’s presence, I’ll gaze out the windows of the double doors. The whole time I’ve been sitting here it has sounded as if the birds outside those doors have been enjoying a block party. They are just so darned excited about this new day! It’s early May here in Missouri, so they are at their loudest, but in the winter, I don’t get to hear them in the mornings. I guess it’s too cold for their little bird feet, or they’ve headed south for warmer weather.
I can feel my soul expanding with God’s love each time I hear this bird-celebration outside my house. I don’t know what it is about them, but their loud social life is so awesome to me. To be honest with you, sometimes they are so loud that they become the background noise for my morning devotional, like music I’m intentionally playing in the room.
But what amazes me the most about these little feathered creatures is this: God knows about each and every one of them, and He loves them. Jesus said this in Matthew 10:29. God created these birds to be enthusiastic about the mornings He makes! Their songs are for Him!
Their songs are for…His glory.
And His glory is found in my enjoyment of His birds.
I am a part of God’s glory, and so are you.
He loved us so much that He just had to create us! You were created on purpose and for a purpose! Just like these birds were made by God to sing, we too have individual God-given purposes as well! A purpose which is meant to bring glory to Him and us! (See John 17:22). A purpose which was personified perfectly in Jesus! And once you step into a relationship with your Creator through Christ, you will start to sing your very own song–a song that God would love to hear!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you—thank you for life! Thank you for creating me! So often we forget that just being here is a gift from you! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. I ask that you begin to reveal in their hearts just how special to you they truly are! I’m also asking for you to reveal to them WHAT exactly their song is, if they don’t already know. Jesus is the music, but we provide the words! In His name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!