Your alarm goes off in the morning, rousing you from your sleep. What is your first response? If you’re like me, you may check Facebook, look at missed emails, respond to text messages or read the news. You do all of this before you even get out of the bed.
From the very moment of waking up, the world is already fighting for our attention. And in this moment we often neglect to look to God in worship and praise. Why am I passionate about this?
Our Breath Comes from God
To begin, when our eyes open, we need to be reminded that it’s not the alarm that allows us to wake up in the morning, but the sovereign and gracious hand of God. The Apostle Paul said it like this, “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
We are a dependent people. We depend on many things, from food and water to oxygen. But more than that, we depend on God for life.
Paul says, “Nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25) How humbling is this truth? The very breath that you are breathing while reading this article is by the mercy and grace of God.
As Thomas Watson once said, “Every time we draw our breath, we suck in mercy.”
God Gives Us New Mercies
God has mercies of old (Ps. 25:6) and new morning mercies. The psalmist writes, “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” (Ps. 40:3) Jeremiah reminds us that “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lam. 3:22-23).”
When we understand this truth that we wake every morning by the mercy and grace of God, our first action should be to praise Him for who He is and what He has done for us. Henry Scudder outlines how to awake with God in a book titled The Christian’s Daily Walk.
According to Scudder, when we wake, our hearts must be lifted up to God in thankful acknowledgement of His mercy to us. It is God that gives us sleep, keeps us while we sleep and gave us new mercies when we awake.
Each Day Is a Gift
James says it like this, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (Jam. 4:13-15)
That’s a tough pill to swallow. Presuming ahead of time is arrogance! Yet we often presume on the grace of God when we believe we’ll be alive in the next hour, next minute, next day or next second.
Our lives are fleeting, and there will be a day when we all take our last breath. Let’s allow that reality to compel us to praise the grace and mercy of God, who gives us every second we have on this earth. Thank Him for the gift that He has given you by allowing you to wake up this morning, and use your day wisely by honoring God with it.
Josh Chambers is the lead pastor of Pleasant Street Baptist Church in Worcester, MA. He blogs regularly at https://thereformedlife.net. You can follow him on Instagram @jchambers5 and on Twitter @josh_chambers5.