Before the Day Slips Away: Time Is the Currency of Each Day

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and the Son of God as it was written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically, today’s reading begins with the thirty-fifth verse of the first chapter and continues through to the twenty-eighth and final verse of the second chapter. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. ANd he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils” (Mark 1:35-39).

            “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; and saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter” (Mark 1:40-45).

            “And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye the things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:1-12).

            “And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinkers with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:13-17).

            “And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away for them, and then shall they fast in those days. Now man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but the new wine must be put into new bottles” (Mark 2:18-22).

            “ANd it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he and they that were with him? HOw he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the high priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:23-28).

            AND IN THE MORNING, RISING UP A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, HE WENT OUT, AND DEPARTED INTO A SOLITARY PLACE, AND THERE PRAYED! ALL MEN SEEK FOR THEE! LET US GO INTO THE NEXT TOWNS, THAT I MAY PREACH THERE ALSO: FOR THEREFORE CAME I FORTH! AND HE PREACHED IN THEIR SYNAGOGUES THROUGHOUT ALL GALILEE, AND CAST OUT DEVILS! AND THERE CAME A LEPER TO HIM, BESEECH HIM, AND KNEELING DOWN TO HIM, AND SAYING UNTO HIM, IF THOU WILT, THOU CANST MAKE ME CLEAN! AND JESUS, MOVED WITH COMPASSION, PUT FORTH HIS HAND, AND TOUCHED HIM! I WILL! BE THOU CLEAN! BUT HE WENT OUT, AND BEGAN TO PUBLISH IT MUCH, AND TO BLAZE ABROAD THE MATTER, INSOMUCH THAT JESUS COULD NO MORE OPENLY ENTER INTO THE CITY, BUT WAS WITHOUT IN DESERT PLACES! AND THEY CAME TO HIM FROM EVERY QUARTER! AND IT WAS NOISED THAT HE WAS IN THE HOUSE! STRAIGHTWAY MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER, INSOMUCH THAT THERE WAS NO ROOM TO RECEIVE THEM, NO, NOT SO MUCH AS ABOUT THE DOOR! AND HE PREACHED THE WORD UNTO THEM! AND THEY COME UNTO HIM, BRINGING ONE SICK OF THE PALSY, WHICH WAS BORNE OF FOUR! WHEN THEY COULD NOT COME NIGH UNTO HIM FOR THE PRESS, THEY UNCOVERED THE ROOF WHERE HE WAS! WHEN THEY HAD BROKEN IT UP, THEY LET DOWN THE BED WHEREIN THE SICK OF THE PALSY LAY! WHETHER IS EASIER TO SAY TO THE SICK OF THE PALSY! THY SINS BE FORGIVEN THEE; OR TO SAY, ARISE, AND TAKE UP THY BED, AND WALK!

            When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find something that is absolutely remarkable and astonishing as you continue to proceed and move forward with the gospel narratives of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. As you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will one of the examples and accounts of Jesus praying before and unto His Father who was in heaven. Beginning with the thirty-fifth verse you will find John Mark writing and describing how “in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” AND IN THE MORNING! AND IN THE MORNING, RISING UP! AND IN THE MORNING RISING UP A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY! AND IN THE MORNING, RISING UP A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, HE WENT OUT! AND IN THE MORNING, RISING UP A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, HE WENT OUT, AND DEPARTED INTO A SOLITARY PLACE! AND IN THE MORNING, RISING UP A GREAT WHILE BEFORE DAY, HE WENT OUT, AND DEPARTED INTO A SOLITARY PLACE, AND THERE PRAYED! BEFORE THE DAY! BEFORE THE DAY GETS AWAY! BURNING THE DAYLIGHT! Now I have to admit that what is presented before us within this passage is absolutely remarkable and astounding, for Scripture doesn’t at all describe that which Jesus prayed about. Upon reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will not find, nor will you see before you a description of what Jesus specifically prayed for when He appeared before the Father. Instead, what you will find you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture is an awesome and powerful declaration of the truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and the pattern of prayer which He regularly and routinely exercised within and during HIs public ministry. MAKING TIME FOR PRAYER! MAKING TIME FOR PRAYER LIFE!

            I sit here this morning thinking about and considering this particular truth and the reality of what is found here and I can’t help but think about how many demands were placed upon the person of Jesus the Christ once the day officially began and He and His disciples went out and began teaching and preaching the kingdom of heaven before and unto men. I cannot help but think about how many times Jesus had regular and routine demands which were placed upon Him as great multitudes would gather themselves unto and before Him that they might find and experience healing, deliverance, wholeness, and that which they desired within their hearts and lives. What I find so absolutely important about this particular passage is Jesus’ commitment to prayer. It would be very easy to say that Jesus arose early a great while before day and went out into a solitary place where He prayed. It would be very easy to say and state that Jesus prayed before and unto HIs Father which was in heaven concerning and regarding the demands ministry and the work and assignment that was placed upon His physical person would place upon Him. We would be wise and correct in emphasizing the awesome truth that when Jesus rose up a great while before day and departed into a solitary place to pray that He might receive the divine will, the divine heart and mind of the Father. We know from Scripture that Jesus emphatically declared that He could say and do nothing apart from that which He saw the Father do and heard the Father speak. With this being said we must needs realize and understand that when Jesus appeared before His Father in prayer He did so that He might hear and discern what was the good and perfect will of the Father. Undoubtedly Jesus would hear directly from the Father and would understand that which He was to do during that particular day. There is not a doubt in my mind when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture that Jesus would rise a great while before day and depart into a solitary place to pray that He might know and understand that which was required and that which demanded of Him for that particular day. I do not believe that what we find here is an isolated and one time occurrence, but rather was something that was a regular and routine practice that was found within the life and ministry of Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find here describes a regular and routine practice, discipline and exercise which took place within the life of Jesus—and perhaps even on a daily basis.

            There is a song that was sung by contemporary Christian group Newsong, and the title of the song is “Before the Day.” I have to admit that this particular song has long and often been a favorite of mine, for that which we find within this particular song is a powerful statement and declaration. made by Michael O’Brien concerning the day, and how it is his heart’s desire to rise up early in the day—and not only to rise up early in the day, but also rise up early in the day and appear before God in prayer in order that the day might not get away from him and slip beyond and grasp. One of the truths I have often believed is that time is one thing within our life which is a treasure and something which once we give it up we can never get back. Time is one of those things within our hearts and lives that is essentially currency and can be used to purchase and by that which we find and experience within a given day. TIME IS THE CURRENCY OF EACH AND EVERY DAY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE CURRENCY OF TWENTY-FOUR HOURS? Even as I sit here today I can’t help but think about and consider the awesome and incredible truth that we have a great need to realize and recognize what we do with the time we have been given each and every day. There is a great need within our hearts and minds to understand how we our spending our time, for if you show me how you spend your time I will show you how your day can and will be ordered. One of the greatest things that we must needs realize and understand is that if you show me how you spend your time in a specific and given day I will not only show you what is important to you, but I will also show you what your day has looked like and will look like. There is not a doubt in my mind that time is the currency of each day and that the only thing we have been given is the specific day we are living in, and are required and demanded to live in the moment. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a great need within our hearts and our lives to ensure that we recognize the treasure we have been given in time, and how we have been given twenty-four hours in a single day to accomplish that which the Heavenly Father has asked, demanded and required of us. Each and every day—starting at 12:00 AM—provides us with a full twenty-four hours with which we can use to fulfill and satisfy the divine purpose, plan and will of the Father. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous responsibility we have with the time we have been given each and every day.

            The reason the song “Before the Day” written and performed by contemporary Christian group Newsong is so incredibly powerful is because the entire premise of the song is how we arise early in the day that we might stand, kneel, and perhaps even fall upon our face before the Father. This song is so incredibly important because within it the artist is declaring how they want to ensure that they rise early in the morning and commit themselves to the Lord in prayer before the day is gone and before the day is wasted. The author of this song does not want the day to slip away from them and move beyond their grasp, and so they made the conscious decision to rise up early in the morning to stand and appear before the living and eternal God. Oh we must needs realize and understand how absolutely incredible and powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the truth of how incredibly important it is to rise up early in the morning that we might stand and appear before the living God. Not only this, but what we find within this song—and not only within this song, but also within this passage—is a powerful picture of rising early in the morning before the distractions and demands of the day begin to weigh heavily upon our hearts, our minds, our souls, our spirits and our physical bodies. There is a great and tremendous need for us as the people of God to recognize how incredibly likely it is for the distractions and demands of the day to begin vying for our attention and our focus, and how absolutely and incredibly easy it is to allow the day to get away from us if we aren’t intentional, deliberate and careful with our days and the time we have been given. I firmly believe that we as disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must be absolutely and incredibly deliberate and intentional with our time, and must needs commit ourselves to the same pattern and discipline which we find in this passage of Scripture concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture describes how in the morning Jesus rose up a great while before day, and how He would go out and depart into a solitary place to pray before and unto His Father who was in heaven. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how absolutely and incredibly important and powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth that we must be deliberate and intentional with prayer within our hearts and lives. There is a great need within our hearts and our lives to be those who recognize and understand that we must commit ourselves to prayer in the morning before the day gets away—and not only before it gets away, but also before the distractions and demands of the day begin to weigh upon our hearts and our lives.

            As I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the awesome and incredible truth that is found within this passage of Scripture I cannot help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that in the morning Jesus rose up a great while before the day, and how He went out and departed into a solitary place where He might pray before and unto His Father. We cannot, we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of just how incredibly important this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful that Jesus knew and was well aware of the distractions and demands of the day. Jesus was well aware of what the day would entail and what would unfold once Judaea and Galilee began waking up and rising during the day and how quickly the multitudes would gather themselves unto Him. Jesus was very much aware of what would happen once men and women within the regions of Judaea and Galilee heard and discovered where He was. I find within this passage of Scripture an incredibly powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and how He was one who wasn’t willing to let the day slip away, and was one who was deliberate and intentional with His time. The Lord Jesus Christ realized and recognized that the single greatest time to pray before and unto the Father was in the morning while it was still dark. In fact, there is one particular place in Scripture where it describes how Jesus would rise up early before the day would begin and while it was still dark that He might appear before the Lord in prayer. Oh it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close and careful attention to this particular truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth that Jesus was not one who was willing to start or begin His day meeting the demands, the desires and the needs of men before He would appear before His Father in prayer. IF there is one thing this particular passage presents us with it is how the Lord Jesus Christ was deliberate and intentional with His time and with His days, and I would dare say that He deliberately and intentionally chose to rise up early each morning while it was still dark and before the day would actually begin to break, and it would be there during that time the Lord Jesus would appear before His Father in prayer.

            I firmly believe with all my heart that there is a great and powerful witness, testimony and example that is found within this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially when we think about and consider the awesome and incredible truth concerning our own lives. We know that Jesus was one who was willing to rise a great while before the day began and a great while before the day break—undoubtedly forfeiting and giving up sleep to do so. We know that Jesus would rise up early in the morning before the day would even break that He might depart unto a solitary place to appear before and pray unto His Father who was in heaven. Jesus was well aware of the distractions and demands of the day that could weigh heavily upon Him, and perhaps even seek to deter Him from the mission the Father had sent Him to do. The underlying question we must needs ask ourselves when we read this particular passage of Scripture is how we are willing to conduct each of the days we have been given. We know from the words which our Lord spoke in the Sermon on the Mount that we are not to worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day [today] is the trouble thereof. Jesus emphatically urged and instructed us not to worry about tomorrow and to be present in the day in which we are and have been given. When I awoke this morning six hours had already passed within this day and I have been left with a total of eighteen hours during the day. Of those eighteen hours a total of nine will be spent working, which means that I ultimately have a total of nine hours left before the day expires and I go to sleep looking forward to the next day. If I go to sleep at nine o’clock in the evening then I need to subtract three hours from those remaining nine, which means I have a grand total of six hours outside of sleep and outside of work. The question I am forced to ask myself is how I am going to spend those six hours and what I am willing to do during those six hours.

            I cannot help but read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and be brought face to face with the clarion call of the Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ to reorganize and reprioritize my day. Not only this, but I am finding myself encountering and coming face to face with the awesome and tremendous responsibility I have to order my day in such a way that I do not burn the daylight, nor do I allow the day get away from me. I firmly believe that it is possible to spend time during the evening while it’s dark seeking the face of the Father and committing ourselves unto Him in prayer, however, if I am being truly honest with myself I have to say that the single greatest time to spend in prayer before and with the Lord is not during the evening, but rather during the day. Before the distractions of the day can begin to vie for my attention and focus it is absolutely necessary that I commit myself earnestly to prayer before and unto the Father who is in heaven. Before text messages can and ultimately do begin coming through to my phone, before the demands and stresses of work begin to weigh upon my mind and my physical body, before others begin seeking for those things I might be able to provide for and unto them it is necessary that I order my day in such a way that I commit myself to the LORD in prayer. Oh dear reader there is something incredibly powerful about rising early in the morning and making the living and eternal God our priority and focus. There is something incredibly awesome and powerful about rising up early in the morning while it is perhaps still dark and before the day breaks that we might commit ourselves to the Lord in prayer, in worship, in devotion and intercession. There is something incredibly powerful found in Scriptures known as the firstfruits, and how the living and eternal God required and asked for the first fruits of that which the children of Israel had come to possess. The living and eternal God instructed the children of Israel to bring the first fruits of their harvest before and unto Him as an offering, and thus would ask for the first portion of what they had accumulated as a result of sowing and reaping. The same principle is true of tithing, for the living and eternal God asks for ten percent of what you make and have earned—and not only does He ask for ten percent, but He asks for the first ten percent.

            THE PRINCIPLES OF FIRST FRUITS AND TEN PERCENT! I sit here today thinking about and considering just how incredibly awesome and powerful this truly is, for there is something to be said about the first fruits of our day. There is something to be said about recognizing that the offering we present before and unto the Lord our God is the first fruits of the day—that portion of the day which is at the very beginning of the day. I have to admit that I find myself the sharpest first thing in the morning and early on during the day, and how that is the single best time to present unto and give to the Lord. I have found that the single greatest time to give to the Lord is that time early in the morning before anyone is awake, before I have to worry about my cell phone, before I have to worry about my job, before I think about working out, before I think about what I’m going to eat, and before I begin to think about what is needed and required during the day. One of the greatest challenges and temptations with each and every day is the challenge to move on and progress within and during our day without committing the first fruits before and unto the Lord our God. There is something truly challenging about not ordering and not prioritizing our day in such a way that we give the Lord the first fruits of our day as an offering unto Him. If I am being honest with you who might be reading the words found in this passage of Scripture I would dare say that what we find in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture of Jesus offering and giving unto the Father the first fruits of the day. Jesus recognized the importance of committing time to the Father in prayer, and He realized and recognized that if He didn’t make time for the Father and make time for the Father in prayer, no one was going to give to Him or make it for Him.

            Pause for a moment and think about the tremendous reality of such a statement as was just made, for we have an incredible responsibility within our hearts and our lives to make time and make room for prayer before the Father. If we don’t make time and if we don’t make room for the Father in prayer no one is going to make it for us. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—if you are not deliberate and intentional with your time and with your days and consciously choose to make time for the Lord in prayer then no one else within your life is going to make it for you. It is true that there might be those who are willing to hold you accountable and perhaps offer to call you in the morning to wake you up, and it is true that there might be those who are willing to help you in the process of ordering your morning that you commit the first fruits of the day to the LORD in prayer. With that being said, however, we must needs realize and recognize that the tremendous responsibility that faces making time for the LORD our God in prayer falls not upon the shoulders of our brother(s) or sister(s) but upon us. There is only one person within our hearts and lives who can truly make time for the Father in prayer, and that person is us and us alone. Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are going to be those who are willing to make time for the Father in prayer. Are you willing to be that one who makes time for the Father in prayer, and commit a portion of your day before and unto Him in the secret closet of prayer? Am I willing to be that one who makes time for the Father in prayer and commit the first fruits of my day before and unto Him in prayer, in meditation, in worship and devotion? I absolutely love what is found within this passage of Scripture, for what we find here is a powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ rising up a great while before day and went out into a solitary place where He might appear before the Father in prayer. Scripture is unclear at what hour Jesus actually awoke and arose each morning, but I am sure that He arose while it was still dark and while the disciples themselves were still sleeping. I am sure Jesus departed from whatever house He and the disciples were sleeping in that He might depart into a solitary place where it was just He and His Father who was in heaven.

            What makes this passage all the more intriguing and astonishing is when you think about and consider the fact that Scripture describes how Jesus not only rose up a great while before day, but would depart into a solitary place. That which we find within this passage of Scripture is an incredibly awesome and powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ not only making time at the beginning of His day to spend in prayer before and unto the Father, but Jesus would also depart into a solitary place in prayer. The Lord Jesus Christ would not only be deliberate with His time, but He would also be deliberate in where He would pray, for He would depart unto a place where it would be just He Himself and His Father alone in prayer. The Lord Jesus Christ would deliberately and intentionally take the time to go into a solitary place where He knew it was going to be just Him and the Father with no one else around. There in that solitary place it was just Jesus and the Father alone while the disciples slept, and while Judaea, while Galilee and while Jerusalem slept. While the rest of the world slept Jesus was up in a solitary place praying before and unto the Father who was in heaven. Oh how incredibly important and powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention—not only to the time and the hour in which Jesus prayed, but it also calls and draws our attention to the location and place where the Lord Jesus prayed. Jesus recognized and understood that when it came to appearing before the Father in prayer He needed to depart while it was still dark—and not only while it was still dark, but also into a solitary place where He might pray before and unto His Father who was in heaven. We must needs realize and understand how incredibly important and powerful this truly is, for there is something to be said about rising up a great while before the day and during those hours quieting ourselves and positioning ourselves in a solitary place where we might appear before the Father who is in heaven.

            The words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture present us with an awesome and tremendous challenge—one that directly flies in the face of all comfort within our hearts and lives. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is found within this passage, for what we find here is an incredibly powerful invitation to model our lives after the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a great need and challenge that is found within this passage to pattern our days after the days in which Jesus spent in the flesh, for there is a great need within our hearts and lives to be those who are willing to commit ourselves to the Father in prayer. If there is one thing I have found the more I live upon this earth it’s that if I don’t commit the first portion of my day to the Lord in prayer, and if I don’t commit the first portion of my day to the Lord in the reading and studying of His Word then I allow the day to begin to make demands of and from me. If I do not firmly resolve within my heart and my mind that I am going to commit the first portion of the day before and unto the Lord in prayer, in worship, and in devotion to Him then I open myself up to the demands and distractions of the day to begin to take their toll and weigh heavily upon my heart and my mind. I absolutely love how Jesus rose up a great while before day in the morning that He might go out and depart into a solitary place where He could be alone with His Father who was in heaven. It is truly something awesome and powerful to think about and consider the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was willing to rise up early in the morning while it was still dark that He might appear before His Father in the secret closet and place of prayer. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely necessary it truly is within our hearts and lives. We must needs realize and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ has given us an a pattern and an example to follow—one that invites us to reprioritize our days that we might commit the first fruits of the day unto Him in prayer, in worship, in devotion and in sacrifice. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture and how the Lord Jesus Christ was willing to commit those early hours in the morning before and unto His Father in prayer, for it calls and invites us to pattern our lives in a similar fashion.

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding this passage is not merely Jesus rising up a great while before the day, and going out as He departed into a solitary place to pray before and unto His Father in heaven. If and as you continue reading the words which are found within this passage you will find that Simon and those that were with Him followed after Him. What’s more, is that not only did they follow after Him, but when they had found Him, they declared unto Him how all men sought for and were seeking Him. Please don’t miss the importance of what is found in the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh verses of this particular passage of Scripture, for the words which we find here bring us face to face with the demands each and every day would place upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It is truly something remarkable and astonishing to read the words found in this passage and to see how not only did Simon and those who were with Jesus follow after Him diligently seeking until they had found Him, but when they actually declared unto Him that all men sought for Him. Pause for a moment and think about the tremendous truth that surrounds those two verses, for in the thirty-fifth verse we find Jesus rising up a great while before the day, and we find Him going out and departing into a solitary place where He would pray before and unto His Father who was in heaven. The text itself seems to suggest that Jesus must have prayed for quite some time during those hours in the morning, for not only did Simon and those who walked with and followed Him search for Him, but when they had found Him they declared that all men were searching for Him. Please don’t miss and lose sight of how incredibly important and powerful these verses truly are, for there is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus recognized and understand the demands each day would present before and upon Him, and He recognized and understood that importance to devote and commit Himself to the Father in prayer.

            If there is one thing we must needs realize and understand about the Lord Jesus Christ is that while it is indeed true that He was the Christ, while it is indeed true that He was the Son of God, and while it is true that Jesus Himself was God and the Word in the flesh, He was still one hundred percent men and lived His life in the flesh. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for even in the garden when Jesus went a little further to pray before and unto His Father who was in heaven He returned to find the disciples sleeping. Upon finding the disciples sleeping in the garden Jesus declared unto them that the spirit was truly willing but the flesh was weak. Jesus instructed His disciples to watch and to pray lest they enter into temptation—temptation to be offended with Christ, temptation to forsake and flee Him, temptation to deny Christ, and even temptation to take up the sword in defense of Christ. We must needs realize and understand this when we think about Jesus rising early in the morning a great while before the day, and how He went out into a solitary place to pray before and unto the Father. We must needs realize and understand that Jesus realized within Himself that His flesh would and could be weak, and how He needed to yield Himself—not only to the Father, but also to the Spirit which was present within Him. Jesus rose up a great while before the day and would commit Himself before and unto the Father that He might not only understand and be able to discern the divine will of the Father, but also that He might lay hold of the strength that was needed each day. We have a great need to pay close and careful attention to this, for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth that the living and eternal God asks of us to present unto Him the firstfruits of our day in prayer, in worship, in devotion, in intercession, and the like before the day does indeed get away from us. Oh dear reader—there is an inherent danger in allowing the day(s) to get away from us and to not devote and commit the first fruits of our day before and unto the Father in prayer. There is a tremendous temptation and challenge that is presented before and unto us to be those who allow the demands, the desires and the distractions of the day to vie for our attention and our focus, and if we aren’t careful we can allow each of those to choke the life out of us.

            I sit here today thinking about the parable which Jesus spoke concerning the seed, the sower, and the four different types of grounds and soil upon which the seed was sown. One of the grounds into which the seed was sown was thorny ground, and when Jesus presented the disciples with the understanding and interpretation of the parable He described how that represented those who heard and received the word of the kingdom, and yet how the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choked the life of the word from within their hearts and spirits. I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close and careful attention to this particular truth, for if we aren’t careful the cares of this world, the demands of each day, the distractions of each day, and the desires within our heart can indeed choke the time out of each and every day. We must not be those who fail to recognize and understand this, for if we aren’t careful it is possible that those things which present themselves before and unto us within and throughout the day can indeed choke the life out of us and choke the life out of the days which are before us. Each and every one of us have been given one day at a time, and perhaps the greatest challenge we must needs realize and understand is that with each day we have been given a challenge to be those who allow the cares of this life, the cares of this life, the distractions of the day, and even the demands of others to choke the life and time out of our days. There is something incredibly powerful about Jesus rising up early in the morning before the day, and to devote and commit that time before and unto the Father who was in heaven, for in so doing Jesus was prioritizing relationship, fellowship and communion with His Father who was in heaven.

            The more I read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that the Lord Jesus Christ sought and desired to commit these early hours in the day to prayer before and unto the Father, for He realized and understood that it would be these hours and how they were spent that would dramatically alter and shape the entire course of the day. Jesus was One who consistently did only what He saw the Father doing, and consistently spoke only what the Father spoke, and I am absolutely and completely convinced that this was a direct result of those early and formidable hours of the day—those hours which would set the tone and the stage for the entire day. Oh dear reader—would it shock and surprise you to hear and to consider that those early hours in the morning before the day breaks can and will in fact dramatically alter and set the stage for the entire course of the day? Would it surprise you to think and consider that those early hours in the morning have the ability to dramatically set the stage and the course for the day which is before you? I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs realize and understand how incredibly important and vital those early hours are in the morning, for those are the hours in the day when we truly have the ability to get alone before and alone with the Father without any interruptions, without any distractions, and without any of the cares of this world to begin chipping away at our hearts, our minds, and our days. It is absolutely true that we have been given one day at a time, and one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves is what we are willing to do with that day which is before us. Are we willing to be those who will allow the day to get away from us and to allow the distractions and interruptions of the day to choke the life out of what we can and should offer before and unto the Father, or are we those who are wiling to alter and shape the course of our day through prayer and devotion before the Father?

            If there is one thing the four gospel narratives reveal and demonstrate before and unto us it’s that throughout each and every day during those three and a half years Jesus dwelt among us as the Word which was made flesh—and not only made flesh, but also manifested unto and among us—it’s that Jesus was one who was consistently surrounded by multitudes and crowds. You cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter all the demands which were placed upon the Lord Jesus Christ by all those who would come and appear before Him. The more you read the gospel narratives the more you will be captivated and drawn into the tremendous reality that the Lord Jesus Christ was One who committed and devoted His life to engaging in ministry among those who would desire and seek after Him, and yet directly connected to and associated with that was the need to position Himself before the Father in prayer. In fact, as you read the words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture you will find different accounts and different narratives of Jesus being approached by those who had a need present within their hearts and lives. In fact, immediately after this particular passage you will find a leper—one who was unclean—coming unto Jesus, kneeling down to Him and declaring unto Him that if He would, He could make him clean. What we must needs realize and understand when reading this particular portion of Scripture is that immediately after John Mark writes and records how Jesus would rise up a great while before day and went out into a solitary place to pray Simon and those who walked with and followed Him sought after Him. When they had found Him the words which proceeded out of their mouths highlighted and underscored the demands of that day and the demands the people of Judaea and Galilee would place upon Him. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found within this opening passage you will find that Jesus responded to the disciples by inviting them to go into the next towns in order that He might preach there also.

            I absolutely love the words which are found within this portion of Scripture, for the words which are found in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the awesome and tremendous truth that the Lord Jesus Christ was One who would consistently and constantly be faced with the assignment and mission that was before Him—and not only the assignment and mission which was before Him, but also the demands which would be placed upon Him from all those which were present during those times. Within this passage Jesus indicates that He came forth that He might preach the gospel and good news of the kingdom, and we must needs realize and understand that Jesus was sent into the earth to accomplish and fulfil more than simply present His body as a sacrifice and offering upon the cross for the sin of the world. Within this passage Jesus clearly indicates that He came forth—He was sent forth by the Father—that He might preach within and throughout the towns and villages which were present within and throughout Judaea and Galilee. Moreover, in the thirty-ninth verse of this chapter you will find Jesus preaching in the synagogues throughout all Galilee and cast out devils. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality and how Jesus realized and recognized the reason and the purpose for which He was sent and for which He came forth, and as such He realized the importance of a life and lifestyle of prayer. Jesus realized and understand that preaching apart from prayer is completely and utterly powerless, and He diligently strove to clothe His preaching in prayer before and unto the Father. If there is one thing I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with in this passage of Scripture it’s the intrinsic and apparent link between prayer and preaching, for within this passage you will find both realities present. What’s more, is that if and as you read the words found in this portion of Scripture you will discover how before we read of Jesus preaching we first find Him praying. Before Jesus would begin preaching each and every day I would dare say that He arose early during those formidable hours in the morning and clothed and saturated His entire day and what He would do and speak in prayer.

            There is without a doubt an undeniable spiritual principle that is found within this portion of Scripture, for there is an inherent link and connection between prayer and preaching, and between preaching and praying. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there are a great number of men and women among us today who feel as though they can and are able to preach without and apart from praying, and although they might preach and communicate from the Word of God, they are not preaching the true heart and mind of the Father which is in heaven. In all reality, I would dare say that preaching without and apart from praying is nothing more than communicating and perhaps good oratory. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth and reality, for it calls and draws our attention into the awesome and powerful truth that the Lord Jesus Christ realized and recognized that preaching without and apart from prayer has the ability to be of no effect and no use before and unto those who might hear the words which are spoken. What we must needs realize and understand is that we dare not, we ought not and must not be those who would dare think and believe they can truly preach the gospel of the kingdom of heaven without and apart from prayer before and unto the Father who is in heaven. What’s more, is that I would dare say if you are not willing to pray before you preach, and if you are not willing to clothe, saturate and bathe preaching in prayer you ought not and must not even rise up to preach unto others. If you are one who is not willing to clothe your preaching in prayer—and not only clothe your preaching in prayer, but also receive the word from the LORD you are supposed to pray—you dare not and must not preach at all.

            I am absolutely and completely convinced there are far too many preachers today who might be great at communicating and who might have great charisma, and yet the truth of the matter is that these preachers are nothing more than communicators. Oh they might sound eloquent when they preach, and they might even preach sound doctrine from behind the pulpit, but there is absolutely no anointing, nor is there any inspiration from the Holy Spirit within their preaching. The words which they preach from behind the pulpit might even illicit and garner a response when it comes to “the altar call,” however, if that preacher is entirely and altogether unwilling to clothe and saturate the preaching and the message in prayer then they are doing nothing more than speaking without any authority, and/or perhaps even without any authorization. I would dare say that it is the degree and measure of prayer which you are willing to commit and devote yourself with that allows you to truly preach that which the living and eternal God desires and requires you to speak. There are many who might very well teach, preach and speak in the name of the LORD, and who might even preach in the name of Jesus, and yet their message was not clothed, nor was it birthed out of prayer. Oh one of the great truths presented within this nation is that there might be a number of great preach-ers, however, there are very few pray-ers. There are a number of men—and even a number of women—who might sound eloquent when they preach from behind the pulpit, and yet the words and message they preach came not from the heart and mind of the Father, but from their own inspiration. What we find within this passage of Scripture is a strong and powerful connection between the praying of Jesus and the preaching of Jesus, and how Jesus recognized the tremendous importance of prayer and preaching. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this incredibly awesome and powerful truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the truth that preaching without prayer is entirely and altogether useless and worthless. Oh dear preacher—if you are one who thinks, feels and believes you can preach absent and apart from any type of prayer life I would strongly caution to repent of your ways and position your heart aright with God, or perhaps cease preaching altogether.

            I must admit that I feel so absolutely strongly about this intrinsic link and connection between preaching and prayer and prayer and preaching, for not only does prayer make the preaching, but prayer also makes the preacher. With every sermon that might be preached we must needs realize that there are two sermons preached each and every Sunday morning—sometimes perhaps multiple times throughout the day. THE TWO-FOLD SERMON PREACHED FROM PULPITS! I sit here today thinking about and considering the fact that any preacher who stands behind the pulpit and preaches from the word of God is not simply preaching one message, but is in all reality preaching two messages. There is the message which is preached from behind the pulpit which might last anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, but there is another sermon that is preached after the preaching is done. AFTER THE PREACHING IS DONE! AFTER THE WORDS CEASE! If there is one thing we must needs realize and understand it’s that every preacher who stands behind the pulpit preaches one message with their words, but they preach another message with their lives—with their words, with their actions, with their behaviors, with their interaction with others. There is and there has been far too much emphasis that has been placed solely and squarely on that which is preached from behind the pulpit and no one really gives any thought or consideration to the sermon and message that is being preached when the words cease. What’s more, is I would dare say that the greater sermon and the greater message is preached when that individual comes out from behind the pulpit and begins to move about throughout their day to day lives. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for prayer not only makes the preaching of the message, but prayer also makes the preacher himself who would dare stand up and preach from the Word of God.

            We would like to think that it is enough to simply read the Word of God and through our own intellect, through our own imagination, and through our own understanding craft and put together a sermon and message. We would like to think that it’s enough to simply read the Word of God and to craft a sermon we think and feel would benefit the body of Christ and those who have been entrusted into our care. The truth and underlying reality, however, is that this simply is not and must not be the case. We dare not and must not think that it is enough to simply read the Word of God, craft a sermon and message around the words and text we have read, and then preach anything we would like, or even what we feel the people need to hear. If there is one thing I so absolutely love about the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that Jesus recognized and understood the tremendous need for prayer within His life and ministry. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus clearly understood and recognized how vital, how critical and how necessary prayer truly was, for prayer positioned Him to hear the voice of the Father. It is only when we hear the voice of the Father we are truly able to discern what is His good and perfect will for our lives within this life. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we have a great need within our hearts and lives to start each day in prayer and to start each day before the LORD our God in prayer, for the time we spend before the LORD in prayer is time that we not only learn the Father, but also discover and uncover what is His good and perfect will. Permit me to ask you if you were to examine and loo at your day whether or not you are one who not only knows the will of the Father, but also are one who operates and moves within that will. Are you one who truly moves within the divine will of the Father and it the movement, is the function, is the trajectory of your life centered upon that which the Father desires and delights in? Jesus rose up a great while before the day broke and would go out into a solitary place that He might position Himself before the Father in prayer. Jesus would depart before the disciples would awake and rise from their slumber, and Jesus would rise before the day broke and with it the demands of that day.

            I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the awesome and powerful truth that we must needs read the words found in this passage of Scripture, for the words which we find in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the tremendous and vital role prayer plays—not only in preaching, but also in living. We must needs realize and understand that prayer is the catalyst and the foundation upon which our lives are built, and prayer is that which dramatically alters and shifts the course of our lives. In all reality, I would dare say that if we are such who are unwilling to devote and commit ourselves to prayer, and if we are those who are unwilling to commit ourselves to giving unto the LORD the first fruits of our day that we might devote ourselves to prayer we are in all reality exercising our own authority and will over the day. What is so absolutely powerful about Jesus rising up a great while before day, going out into a solitary place, and there praying before the Father in heaven is an emphatic declaration Jesus made that He was not in control of the day. Jesus’ rising early was about more than simply His engaging in prayer before and unto the Father who was in heaven. Jesus’ rising early in the morning before the day broke was an emphatic declaration and statement that the day would indeed belong to the Father, and it was the Father who must needs author the different events which would take place within and throughout the day. WE dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention and our focus to the strong and powerful reality that devoting those early hours in the morning is not only our giving time to the Father in prayer, but it is also a wonderful and powerful sign that we are committing and entrusting the day into His hands and into His care. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely wonderful and powerful it is to think that Jesus’ rising up a great while before the day and departing into a solitary place to pray is not a wonderful and powerful invitation given unto us to commit and devote our days to Him.

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering just how incredibly strong and powerful this truly is, for if you aren’t willing to give and commit those early hours in the day to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Spirit—you might ultimately be declaring that you desire to impose your own will and your own authority over and upon the day. When you tithe you are doing more than simply giving the ten percent which is required and asked for by God, for you are acknowledging that everything belongs to Him, and that you are giving Him that which already belongs to Him. The beauty of tithing is not in our giving of the ten percent, but that God allows us to keep the other ninety percent. We must needs realize and recognize and understand this—particularly and especially when we think about and consider our time and those early hours of the day—for I am convinced and would dare say that our willingness to devote those opening hours to the Lord in prayer are a mighty and powerful demonstration and declaration that the day together with the time it affords us belongs to the Lord. When we make the conscious and deliberate decision to devote and commit those hours early on in the morning to the Lord in prayer we are acknowledging that the day does in fact belong to Him, that we are willing to give Him the first fruits of our time, and that He has complete control and authority over and upon the day. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how incredibly awesome and powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that the time and the day belongs to God and that He has full and complete control and authority over and upon it. When we make the conscious and deliberate decision to devote these hours to the Lord in prayer we are essentially offering and presenting the day at the very beginning to the Lord, and thus are demonstrating that the Lord has full access to and authority over our day and our time. Time is one thing that we can never get back, and it is one thing we must never and should never waste, for we have a great need to devote and commit our day and the time within it before and unto the Lord. I find it truly intriguing and astonishing to think about and consider that our willingness to commit and devote the firstfruits of our day unto the Lord is a powerful declaration and demonstration that the day belongs to Him, and that He is and must be the author and authority of everything we say and everything we do.

            The words which are found within this passage of Scripture begin with Jesus rising up a great while before the day and going out into a solitary place that He might pray before and unto His Father who was in heaven. What we find next is that Jesus would be sought after and sought out by His disciples, for all men were seeking for and after Him. What we find next is Jesus inviting the disciples to go into the next towns that He might preach there also, for therefore was the reason and purpose for which He was manifested. John Mark describes how Jesus would preach in the synagogues in the neighboring towns and villages, as well as casting out devils. What we also find concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is an incredibly powerful description of what life and ministry was like for Him as we find a leper coming to Him beseeching Him as he knelt down before Him declaring unto Jesus that if He was willing He would make Him clean. What happens in response to this is Jesus being moved with compassion for and on behalf of this leper and not only expressing His willingness to make him clean. Within the final portion of the first chapter of this New Testament gospel we find the disciples seeking Jesus because all men sought after Him, we find Jesus preaching all their synagogues, and we find a leper coming unto Jesus knowing that He was able to make him clean and he would be clean if Jesus was willing. I have long and often found this particular passage to be so incredibly unique and powerful, for within it we do not find the leper coming unto Jesus with any doubt in his heart as to whether or not Jesus was able to cleanse him and make him whole. The words which this leper brought to Jesus was not a question of if Jesus could heal him and make him clean, but rather a question of whether or not Jesus would.

            I absolutely love the words found in this passage, for the words which are presented before us bring us face to face with the awesome and tremendous truth that this leper came unto Jesus unclean knowing that Jesus could indeed and could in fact make him clean, however, the question was whether or not Jesus would make him clean. Scripture is unclear how long this man was unclean and how long he had leprosy, however, we can be absolutely sure and certain of the fact that this man was indeed and was in fact unclean and was used to having to cry out everywhere he went that he was unclean. This man came unto Jesus in an incredibly compromised state and position as he was not only a leper, but was also unclean according to the law of Moses and perhaps ostracized by the religious community, and even shunned and avoided by those who he would interact with on a daily basis. What I absolutely love about what Jesus did for this particular leper is that not only was Jesus moved with compassion for and toward this man, but Jesus also put forth His hand, touched him, and then spoke to Him. I know I have written about this previously, however, it is quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that even before the cleansing came to and for this particular leper Jesus put forth His hand, Jesus touched him, and then Jesus spoke unto Him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for before the cleansing came—cleansing that would come immediately as Jesus began speaking the words—Jesus would stretch forth His hand and would touch this leper. It is truly something remarkable to think about and consider the fact that this man’s leprosy was cleansed “as soon as Jesus had spoken to him,” however, we see that Jesus stretched forth His hand and touched him before speaking. Oh there is something incredibly powerful about Jesus being willing to stretch forth His hand and touch this leper before speaking, for John Mark records that it was as soon as Jesus spoke the man was cured and cleansed from his leprosy. It is absolutely incredible to think about and consider the words and languages which is found in this passage of Scripture and how what we find within it is a picture of Jesus stretching forth His hand to touch this man—a sign of compassion and a willingness to heal and cleanse him—and then Jesus speaking unto this man declaring that He was not only willing to make him clean, but also making him clean.

            If you read the words found in this passage you will find that Jesus stretched forth his hand and touched this man, as well as when speaking to him, He not only declared that He was willing to make him clean, but also commanded him to be clean. Please don’t miss this, for within this passage we find the willingness of Jesus to cleanse this man, as well as the authority of Jesus to cleanse this man. What’s more, is that I would dare say that Jesus in all reality didn’t need to stretch forth His hand and touch this man, for Scripture seems to suggest that it was in direct response to the words Jesus spoke that brought cleansing to this man. Oh how absolutely astonishing and powerful it is to think about the fact that it was the compassion of Jesus that caused Him to stretch forth His hand and touch him, while it was the authority of Jesus that commanded him to be cleansed. This same principle is true within our own lives as it is the compassion and the affection of Jesus that causes Him to stretch forth His hand and touch us, while it is the authority of Jesus that causes Him to heal, cleanse, deliver, make us whole, and set us free. In all reality, Jesus did not need to stretch forth His hand and touch this man, and yet it was the compassion that was present within His heart and spirit that caused Him to stretch forth His hand. When others would have chosen to keep their distance from this man Jesus was not only willing to make Him clean, but was also willing to stretch forth His hand and touch Him. Jesus was willing to touch the very place within and upon this man’s flesh that had caused Him to be unclean, and as a direct result of this the man himself was cured of his leprosy.

            It is something truly remarkable and worth thinking about and considering when reading this particular passage that Jesus was willing to stretch forth His hand and touch this man—and not only stretch forth His hand and touch this man, but undoubtedly touch the place of leprosy that had plagued his flesh and caused him to be unclean. What’s more, is that Jesus was willing to make this man clean, and would actually speak the word to make Him clean. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for the stretching forth of His hand was a sign of compassion, while the speaking of the word was a sign of curing and cleansing this man. Jesus stretched forth His hand out of compassion for this man, while He opened His mouth and spoke the words “be clean” to actually express the authority to cleanse him. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to this, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth that within this passage—not only do we see the compassion of Jesus in stretching forth His hand, but we also see the authority of Jesus in speaking the command that made this man whole and cleansed him of his leprosy. We ought not glance over and bypass this particular truth, for it calls and draws our attention to the truth that it was the compassion of Jesus that caused Him to stretch forth His hand and touch this man—perhaps for the first time in quite some time he actually experienced compassion like that—and it was the authority of Jesus that caused Him to command the leprosy to depart. It’s worth noting that Jesus didn’t speak to the leprosy and command it to depart, but rather He simply spoke the word and gave the command that this man be clean. Jesus would stretch forth His hand and touch this man—perhaps even touch the very place where the leprosy was on his body—and would completely and utterly make him clean. Oh how truly awesome and remarkable it is to think and consider the fact that Jesus’ compassion would cause Him to stretch forth His hand and touch this man, and it would be the authority of and the authority within Jesus that would actually cause this man to be cleanse when Jesus spoke those words.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary that I call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth that it was incredibly necessary and vital for Jesus to rise up early in the morning before the day broke and commit Himself in prayer before and unto the Father, for it would be the Lord Jesus Christ who would completely and entirely submit Himself to the will of the Father. I do not believe this is, nor was it an isolated incident within the public life and ministry of Jesus. I am convinced that it was a regular and routine practice for Jesus to rise early in the morning and commit those early hours during the day to prayer, communion and fellowship before the Father that He might walk in full and complete obedience before and unto the Father. I firmly believe that the Lord Jesus Christ completely and entirely devoted those early hours in the morning to essentially come to a knowledge and understand of the will of the Father, and perhaps even to receive what we would call His “marching orders.” Jesus made it very clear that He would not speak anything He had not heard the Father speak, nor would He do anything He had not seen the Father do. I am absolutely convinced those early hours in the morning were hours spent in fellowship and communion with the Father as Jesus would completely and entirely devote Himself to fellowshipping with the Father and knowing and understanding what the will of the Father is. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand it’s that even though Jesus was indeed God in the flesh and “God with us,” He still surrendered Himself to the will of the Father. This is perhaps evidenced in great measure and detail within the garden when Jesus emphatically declared that it would not be His will, but the will of the Father that would be done. What’s more, is that Jesus would also declare that He did not come to do His own will, but the will of the One who had sent Him. Jesus arose early in the morning and devoted those hours to fellowship and communion with the Father that He might truly understand that which was the good and perfect will of the Father—perhaps even to know what to expect for that particular day.

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