Be honest. Have you ever heard a better opening line to a devotion?
But it's true. I've never crunched the numbers, but I'm fairly certain that the price of toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and faithful dental checkups (with adequate dental coverage) is way less than all the mouth work you'll have done after neglecting the above list. Add in the vanity of it all, and it's a slam dunk. I'm gonna brush my teeth in the hopes that I'll still have them when I'm old.
However... that's not why I wake up and rush to brush each morning.
You can thank morning breath for that.
Ideally, we would wake up each morning fresh and clean and new with none of yesterday's junk or tomorrow's worries hanging about. Ideally we'd let each day take care of itself and view the present as indeed the gift it is. But morning breath is our little reminder that some things carry through, and that every day we absolutely must remember that we are not home yet. Morning breath gives us another reason to look forward to heaven. Really, it does.
It also gives us a God-given clue as to what our attitudes would undoubtedly be like if we weren't brushed all over, inside and out, with His Word in our lives.
We can study the causes of morning breath, and our sinful circumstances. But the honest-to-God truth is this: without the Word reaching the in-between-places of our soul, washing, cleaning daily, we WILL eventually carry around in our thoughts, words, and deeds, the stink of ungratefulness, hopelessness, decay.
Satan has no greater joy than to rob the children of his enemy of the victory that is theirs in Christ Jesus. If he can eat away at the enamel of our joy, infect us with discontent and hopelessness, what glory can we live out for the Father?
Some days stink. Almost as bad as my morning breath. That is when we get to trade our morning mourning breath for God's life-giving morning Breath. The same breath the Creator used to give life to the dust of man, He breathes in and through His Word and our hearts. We have a date with the Holy Spirit! Reading the Word does not change my circumstances, most of the time. But it certainly changes my heart toward those circumstances.
Reading the Word changes my attitude toward the people with whom I am frustrated.
It calms my heart when I'm fearful of the future.
It tells me of the God who is in control.
It reminds me that my Father is merciful.
It assures me that this responsibility is NOT all on me.
It protects my conscience when the devil accuses me.
It breaks me when I am prideful.
It lifts me up when I am humbled.
It strengthens me when I am weak.
It sings to me when I am discouraged.
It opens my ears when I am deaf.
It opens my eyes when I am blind.
It encourages me when I'm not sure if I'm doing anything right.
It finds me when I am lost.
It gathers me in when I am astray.
It infuses me with courageous life that cannot be stolen, no matter what the circumstances.
It points me to my Savior~ and then I reread this list of what the Word works in me and "It" becomes "He."
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. ~Psalm 18:30
I'm just curious...
What does the Word do for/in/to you?
What difference does it make in your day and life when you wake up with the Word?