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Points to Ponder: Mornings With God
10/13/2013

Points to Ponder
Mornings With God
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

Could you imagine starting your day without brushing your teeth? Don't you also visit the mirror at some point after achieving consciousness in the morning? Self-examination, checking on needed adjustments - even repairs - prepares you to go out into the world. There is a reason you begin your day with certain routine tasks involving self-care. Why isn't spiritual self-care equally as important? Perhaps it's because we can't readily see the results of doing it or the symptoms of ignoring it. It's not as obvious as "bed hair" or "morning breath."
Now, ponder this: why do we even care about such things? Because we care about how the outside world (outside of ourselves) will perceive us. Of course you've seen people who don't seem to care about how they're perceived. I look at some folks and wonder, "Does he try to look like that?" I don't understand the fashion statement conveyed in baggy pants falling down below the underwear band. I don't understand girls who wear shorts with words embroidered on their backside. (Are they saying, "Stare at my butt.") I saw a woman with a tee that boldly proclaimed across the front, "Grab this." You've got to wonder, "What if..."(well, let's not go there). The point is that we do convey a message in how we present ourselves to the world. And so much of what is spoken by outward appearance and behavior says a lot about the inner person.
I saw a boy at Hershey Park with a tee shirt that said, "I'm up. I'm dressed. What more do you want?" (Now there's a kid who's going places.) The message says a lot about the messenger.
Those who claim to be Christians (meaning "follower of Jesus Christ") are admonished in God's word to be mindful of how they package the message. Paul tells the new believers in Thessalonica that they must
"...Walk properly toward those who are outside..." (I Thessalonians4: 12).
There is a way we are to spiritually "dress" so that when people look at how we behave, at how we work, and at our lifestyle choices, they see Christ in us. If you still run by the world's standards, what are you thinking? And becoming?
"...be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and...you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness"(Ephesians 4:34-35).
Our relationship with the Lord should be compelling real change and a growing depth of character within us. The outside usually reflects what's happening on the inside; therefore, "walk circumspectly" (5:15). Watch your path, pay attention to what influences you as well as how you influence others. How?
It all begins in the beginning. How do you start your day? Whether it's the beginning of the work week or your vacation week, the source of your thoughts and feelings are the same. Circumstances are often beyond our control, but the attitude we bring to the situation is entirely under our control. It reveals a heart condition. The psalmist says that the person is blessed who delights in God's word, "and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). He ponders life from the perspective of scripture.
"With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:10-11).
The care and feeding of your inside manifests itself in the message you convey on the outside. Starting your day in the presence of the One who loves you more and knows you better than anyone, will get you in a good position for what lies ahead. He knows what's coming better than you do. So, you simply must take care of your heart. You do that by giving it to God first thing in the morning. Try it and see. Take a calendar, mark it for 30 days. Watch your heart dis-ease fade away.
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life"(Proverbs 4:23).

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.

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