A few weeks back I wrote about John Wesley’s last words: “Best of all, God is with us.” These are great last words. Today I read about the last words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. As he lay dying this past New Year’s Eve, his final words were “Lord, I love you.” These are great last words, too; but I also think they would make great “first words.” 

What if the first words we spoke each day were “Lord, I love you”? What if—before we did anything else—we told God of our love? How would it shape the rest of our day? According to Jesus, the greatest commandments is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37). Would verbalizing it at the start of each day help us to live it out?

Or perhaps another “first word” would make the perfect way to start our day. Ruth Jones often greets me with the words of Psalm 118: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” What if we started each day by saying those words to remind us that each day is a gift from God?

I would like to challenge you to find you own “first words” to use for the next 30 days. It is said that it takes 30 days to develop a habit, so I challenge you to greet every morning for the next month with words that direct your heart to God. You can use one of the two sentences above or choose your own phrase. Put it in your phone. Write it down and set it by your bed or by the bathroom sink. Do whatever it takes to remember your “first words” of the day. See if it doesn’t change how you experience the rest of the day.

Pastor Mark