(Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog)
In a previous post, we saw that the best time of day to spend with the Lord Jesus is in the morning, before we get caught up in the busyness of our day. Now, we’ll look at some principles and practical tips that will help us build up this habit.
Motivation is Key
Establishing good habits requires motivation, whether positive or negative. For example, if we know that regular exercise helps us feel better, work more efficiently, and even live longer, we’re more likely to get up and start moving. Keeping these benefits in mind pushes us to persevere, even when we don’t feel like exercising.
Likewise, spending time with the Lord Jesus each morning directly affects our spiritual life and our daily living. When we enjoy Him and His Word in the morning, we’re nourished and supplied with His life. As a result, we grow in the life of Christ.
On the negative side, knowing what happens to our teeth when we don’t floss regularly can encourage us to pick up this habit. We floss because we’re motivated by the consequences that will come if we don’t.
In the same way, knowing the negative consequences of not spending time with the Lord can also motivate us to establish this habit. These consequences include not growing spiritually, and even becoming weak.
Forming a Habit
We shouldn’t expect habits to develop overnight. It takes time and practice to form a habit, and it often involves failing. When this happens, we shouldn’t be discouraged; we just need to pick ourselves up and try again.
Building up the habit of spending time with the Lord each morning is no exception. It takes time and practice to make this a normal part of our lives.
Some practical pointers:
1. Spend time to first pray. The Lord wants a personal relationship with us, so surely He will answer our prayers concerning this matter. We can pray, “Lord Jesus, I really want to start my day with You, not with so many other things. Lord, supply me with the grace each morning to put everything else aside so I can be with You first.” Prayer opens the way for the Lord to be the grace we need to build up this healthy spiritual habit.
2. Go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier. Then, you’ll have time to spend with Him before you start your day. This small change will help carve out time to be with the Lord in the morning.
3. Remember that it takes time to build up a lifelong habit. If we fail, we can start afresh the next morning. There’s no need to give up. The Bible tells us that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. We can take it one day at a time.
4. Consider using a printed copy of the Bible rather than a digital one. Since emails, news, and texts are all right there, it’s easy to be distracted by our devices. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version on our website.
5. Start with a few minutes each morning—maybe 10 minutes—and build up to a solid 20 minutes. Of course, you can spend more time. It’s up to you. The main thing is to receive spiritual nourishment in the Word and to contact the Lord Jesus to fellowship with Him.