"With the Lord begin your task; Jesus will direct it. For His aid and counsel ask; Jesus will perfect it. Ev'ry morn with Jesus rise, And when day is ended, In His Name then close your eyes; Be to Him commended.
"Let each day begin with prayer, Praise, and adoration. On the Lord cast ev'ry care; He is your salvation. Morning, evening, and at night Jesus will be near you, Save you from the tempter's might, With His presence cheer you."
How do you begin your day? Do you sit down to a hot breakfast, or do you grab a bite to eat at your local fast food joint? Is a morning walk or jog on your agenda, or does your busy routine at work give you more than enough exercise already? We all have our habits and routines, but our hymn today suggests some new habits or—if not new—at least some familiar habits worth considering.
"With the Lord begin your task ... Let each day begin with prayer, praise, and adoration." Holy Scripture also encourages the formation of these habits: "O LORD, in the morning You hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for You and watch" (Psalm 5:3). And what of that daily task begun with the Lord? "Jesus will direct it." Again, God's Word offers the same comfort: "The heart of a man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). The day may not turn out just as we planned. In fact, our days rarely do turn out precisely the way we intend. Yet, our Lord is with us, directing and ordering our days according to His will.
Our Lord began His day with prayer to His Heavenly Father (see Mark 1:35). Jesus' life and ministry were ordered and directed according to His Father's will. His steps were established, and His path to the cross was laid out before the foundation of the world. We may try to make our plans according to God's will, but our steps often wander. We do not always speak or think or act as we should. Having begun the day in prayer, we may also end it in prayer—a prayer of heartfelt repentance. With our Lord, however, there was no wandering from the path before Him. He did not plan one way and His Father another. Jesus was of one mind and will with His Father for the sake of our salvation because that is why He came, "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10b).
Jesus' single-minded mission is inspiration for us today. As you head out the door to begin your hurried day, remember that Jesus is by your side, preserving you from the tempter's might, cheering you with His presence. Thus be comforted, let your words and actions to others reflect the love and compassion He has shown you.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, each morning, evening, and at night, hear my prayers and accept my grateful praise. Direct my steps this day according to Your will. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "With the Lord Begin Your Task," which is found on page 869 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you have any daily routines or habits that are centered on God?
2. Is it difficult to find time to set aside for God in your day?
3. What suggestions would you have for new Christians to include in their day to help them grow in their faith?
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