1. Turn in your Bible to Psalm 63. When you have found that portion of Godís Word please stand as we read this eveningís text, verses 1 and 2:
2. How many life changing decisions can a person make a week? How many different spiritual issues can one person, who is after all a human being, be expected to effectively deal with at a time? I am of the opinion that the answer is "not very many." Or, better yet, "one important issue at a time."
3. One of the problems with decisionism, besides its erroneous notion of how people get saved, is that decisionism is usually accompanied by a wrong view of how change comes to a Christianís life after conversion occurs. This is to be expected since most so-called Christians are actually lost.
4. Without specifically addressing the theology of how a Christian grows in grace and the in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, how a Christian grows and matures and becomes more Christ like, I want this evening to lay before you an approach to life that will gradually and persistently, that will Scripturally and spiritually, change you.
5. I am not, this evening, asking you or even expecting that you will make any life changing decisions as the result of the truths we will handle. Quite the contrary. What we will deal with tonight will result in incremental adjustments, almost microscopic alterations, in your approach to the Christian life, godliness and spirituality.
6. Whereas the Sunday morning messages I am currently preaching from Godís Word are designed to strip away the false assurance that false professors of religion have, and that most genuinely converted people also have, so that false assurance, or presumption, will be abandoned in favor of genuine assurance, this eveningís message has a different design in view.
7. These morning messages are properly responded to by deeply reflecting on the confidence those of you who claim to be Christians have. But tonightís message, and the sermons I anticipate preaching over the next couple of Sunday evenings, require little introspection to respond to them, and only a slight alteration of behavior.
8. My friends, I want you to spend some time with God every morning. I know your evening Bible reading time may be important to you, and your time in the Bible with your kids or with your mom or dad is valuable. But what I would like to persuade you to do is something whose importance is exceeded only by your regular and faithful attendance at Church.
9. In First Timothy 4.7 the apostle Paul reminded Timothy to "exercise thyself rather unto godliness." Of course, the word "exercise" translates the Greek word from which our word gymnastics is derived, and refers to training and hard word. But the word that lays back of tonightís message is "godliness," which is the Greek word "eusebeia."
10. Though translated "godliness" in this verse, this verse does not refer to God-like-ness, but to a different aspect of godly behavior and attitude, the deep reverence and respectful attitude a person is supposed to have for God.
11. And this reverence and deep respect for God comes by the force of habit, not usually by some supposedly life-changing mystical experience that occurs while you are lying on your fatherís grave one night.
12. Do you want to begin, a little step at a time, to give to God the deep reverence and respect that He deserves? Then letís learn from the sweet psalmist of Israel in Psalm 63.1-2. Please turn back to our text for this evening.
13. "A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah." I am of the decided opinion that even these comments and titles found with many psalms are, themselves, inspired, for they have always been with the Psalms, as nearly as we can tell from the time they were penned.
14. Now, when was this particular psalm penned by David, for there were two times in his life that we know of him being in the Judean wilderness. First, when he was running from King Saul, who was tracking him down to kill him, and, second, when he fled from his son, Absalom, who tried to overthrow him. A glance at verse 11 suggests that this psalm was penned after he had become king, presumably when he was running for his life from Absalom.
15. Letís think about this for a moment. David is an old man. He is running for his life. If his sonís soldiers catch him they will certainly kill him on the spot and without any hesitation. So, we are confronted with a Psalm the deals with the life of a man caught up in the most chaotic and tumultuous experiences he has ever known.
16. Betrayal. Disloyalty. Rebellion. Danger. Intrigue. Responsibility. Turmoil. Confusion. Stress. Fatigue. Anxiety. Duty. And some of you think you have it tough. Are you getting the picture of a man backed into a corner? And the stakes are very high, indeed.
17. Now, with his hectic schedule, stress anxiety, fear for his own life and the lives of those who are loyal to him, lack of sleep, and primitive living environment, what does David do?
18. Letís let David tell us in his own words: "early will I seek thee." Fatigue will not prevent David from seeking God early. Insufficient sleep will not prevent David from seeking God early. Confusion and chaos and pressing crisis situations that howl for his attention will not prevent David from seeking God early. An army of killers seeking his life will not prevent David from seeking God early.
19. Imagine Harrison Ford as Dr. David Kimball, the fugitive, being pursued by a federal marshal, Tommy Lee Jones. Yet every morning, before he does anything else, Dr. David Kimball seeks God. His life and the lives of others is on the line, yet he takes the time to seek God early.
20. Thatís the picture I want in your mind as we stand to sing before this eveningís sermon.
1. We will visit this psalm several more times, the Lord willing, and we will spend time trying to discern and to understand Davidís reasons for seeking God early.
2. But this evening I want to spend a few minutes suggesting some of the reasons why you should do what David did, why you should do whatever it takes to make it a habit of life, why you should spend some time every morning, first thing, seeking God.
1A. First, SEEK GOD FIRST BECAUSE GOD IS IMPORTANT
2A. Second, SEEK GOD FIRST BECAUSE GRACE IS NEEDED
3A. Third, SEEK GOD FIRST BECAUSE YOUR MIND NEEDS RENEWING
4A. Finally, SEEK GOD FIRST BECAUSE IMPORTANT DECISIONS NEED TO BE MADE IN ADVANCE
1. Is there a good reason not to seek God early, to begin with God before you do anything else? No good reason that I can think of.
2. First, God is important. Second, you need grace for each day. Third, your mind needs renewing. And finally, you need a time each day to decide to do right and to decide to not do wrong.
3. Is there a better time and occasion for each of these reasons than a time each morning in communion with God in prayer and in His Word?
4. Set your alarm ten minutes earlier than normal for tomorrow morning. Pick out a passage from Godís Word, tonight before you go to bed, to read tomorrow morning, and set up yourself a place somewhere to do it.
5. Then, tomorrow morning, read Godís Word for five minutes. Five minutes! Then spend five minutes, five minutes, bowing before God in reverence and prayer to pay homage to Him, to praise Him, to tell Him you love Him.
6. Make that the habit of your morning each and every day, for the rest of your life.
 David W. Cloud, Are You Meeting With God And Feeding On His Word?, e-mail sent to FBIS Mailing List on April 17,2002 @ 1:42 AM.
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