God rocked my world through this verse in John over 25 years ago.
I always said I loved Jesus. I had loved Jesus my entire life.
But was I keeping his commands?
Jesus wasn’t talking to me about all of the laws in the Old Testament or the 10 commandments. He was pointing out his first and greatest command – to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. And the second great command - to love others as I love myself.
I wasn’t doing great at putting God first in my life at that time. Two active kids, a husband, a career that involved significant travel, a house, 2 cars, family, friends, going to church where I was a member of the choir – my calendar was stretched to a superhuman level already. I didn’t see any slot where I could fit in more time with God.
But the Holy Spirit was persistent, convicting me BIG TIME that I needed to stop just saying I loved Jesus and start showing it by obeying his first and greatest command.
So I gave up some things, lowered my expectations of other things (like how clean my house was) and re-prioritized. I got serious about Bible study – both on my own and with a small group – and started to put God first in my life. One baby step at a time.
And a miracle happened! Everything started to go better, run smoother, be more fun! I realized that God wanted me to put him first so he could help me with everything else! He wanted to help me be a better wife, a better mother ( he gets the credit for my 2 intelligent, mature and responsible grown children), a better employee, a better everything!
He put the pieces of my life together so that they made a great picture. Before, the pieces just seemed to pile on top of each other – making me crazy……making me feel empty……making me unhappy. God made sense of it and brought real joy back into my life.
Loving him first made me whole.
The a whole me was much better prepared to deal positively with the rest of my life – as long as I kept God at the center.
Six words changed it all!
I love you, dear Father!