This past Friday I received two incredible email responses. Unlike the hundreds of junk emails that come through my box, these are the kind of emails I like to read over and over again. They are from two of the world’s largest online magazines for pastors and worship leaders. Earlier last week, I had submitted to them my new article entitled, A Christmas Wrapped In Praise. Both online magazines want to publish the article for this Christmas!

Later Friday, as I was helping my wife do some cleaning, I couldn’t help but rejoice at such an amazing opportunity God has given us. (Both websites are willing to place a link to my worship study just below the article, which could mean great exposure to the study!) As I pushed the vacuum cleaner across the carpet, the Lord reminded me of when the idea that led to the article first came to me. It was exactly 20 years ago while I sat at my desk in my dorm room at Samford University. I was doing what I did every morning through my college years: having a quiet time before the Lord in His Word. You see, just before I was to start as a brand new freshman, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to know and do above all while I was off at school. He said, “Priortize your time with me everyday, no matter how tired you are or how busy you become.” 

I will never forget that particular early morning in my dorm, Bible and notebook open in front of me. Astonished, I read them again. Sure enough, those first two chapters of Luke are literally packed with praise surrounding the birth of Jesus! Wow. I had never seen that before. I tucked that little revelation away in my heart and in my journal, not realizing the impact it could make so many years in the future.

Oops, missed a spot… I whirled the vacuum cleaner back around for a second try. I had gotten so caught up in my memories and in rejoicing that I almost forgot my job! But about that time, the Lord whispered just loud enough to get over the humming of the vacuum’s motor, “Dwayne, I am honoring your faithfulness to me from 20 years ago.” That thought hit me so hard I almost dropped the easy-grip handle! Then I remembered what Galatians 6:7 says: “Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap.” God is proving Himself true to His Word once again! Thank You, Lord, thank You, thank You!

In the midst of my praise moment, another thought seered my brain and somewhat quieted my jubilation. “Son, if you remain faithful to meet daily with me, if you are consistent to rise early and listen for me through my Word, I will reward you again 20 years from now.” Talk about convicting. Truth is, for some time now, I’ve been struggling to prioritize my daily time with God. I’ve got people holding me accountable. I’m even journaling my QTs online now. Yet, I still tend to let other things crowd out the most important appointment of my day, my appointment with almightly God.

Lord, please forgive me. I will meet with you daily! By your grace and power I will rise early and make time with you, not because I’ll eventually be rewarded, but rather, because I am desparate to see You in the sanctuary…