Words that Changed My Life

They challenged me.

They held me accountable for what I had been saying my entire life.

These are the words Jesus said in John 14:

“If you love me, keep my commands”.

I had been saying I loved Jesus since I was old enough to talk.  I was brought up in a Christian family who lived out their faith in a small Christian town.  For much of my childhood, I thought everyone was a Christian because everyone in my life went to church.

I remember seriously being in love with Jesus when I was younger.  I read my Bible and talked to him all of the time.  Somewhere along the way, I slipped into being more of a ‘cultural Christian’ than actually having a relationship with God.  I went to church, I served at church, I gave money to the church, I participated in small group Bible studies and I talked about loving Jesus but God really didn’t have a big place in my daily life.   My Bible was gathering dust, but I still said I loved Jesus.

Then the Holy Spirit convicted me with these words, “If you love me, keep my commands.”  He made it clear to me that he wasn’t talking about the 10 commandments in the Old Testament.  Jesus had fulfilled all of the old law and given me two new commandments.  Only two.

The first – I need to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul.

The second – love others as myself.

These are it.  Everything else falls under these two commandments.

The Holy Spirit told me, if I really loved Jesus, I would strive to keep these two commandments.  If I didn’t start sincerely trying to obey these two, I needed to stop saying I loved Jesus.

I was blown away!  I had never taken the commandment to love God first seriously.  I was a wife and a working mother of two small kids at the time.  I had so many responsibilities and things to do I just couldn’t imagine adding all the stuff it would take to love God first!

But there was no way I was going to stop saying I loved Jesus.  No way.   I knew it was a part of who I was at the center of my soul.  So I was going to have to go for it and figure it out as I went.

It didn’t take me long to realize, when I put God first, he helped me with everything else.  He grew me into a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter and sister, a better employee, a better boss, a better friend – he made my entire life better.  Putting him first in my life made my existence so much more meaningful and ‘worth it’.  He filled the empty spots in my heart and made me whole.

When I put God first in my life, he taught me how to love others.  As my life filled with his love, it overflowed to those around me.  I didn’t have to try to obey the second command – it naturally happened as the love of my Father transformed me from the inside out.

One verse piercing my soul through the Holy Spirit changed the tragectory of my entire life.  It put me on the path on I am on today – my Journey towards the Truth.

Thank you for joining me on this journey

Thank you for loving me first, Abba Father.

Is this Possible in My Life?

That was my first question when I started to seriously consider Jesus’ first and greatest command to us – Love the Lord your God will all of your heart and all of your soul and all of your mind.  The 2nd commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.

The first commandment sounded so overwhelming that I decided to start there and worry about the 2nd one later.  I’m glad I seriously tackled the first one on its own because I found that, with every baby step I took towards loving God with everything I have, a truly supernatural thing started to happen. Nov 11 2103

God helped me with all of the rest.

I wanted to be a better wife and God helped me do that when I put him first.

I wanted to be a better mother – God also helped me do that.

I wanted to be a better employee at work and God helped me with that as well.

I wanted to be a better friend and neighbor – God helped me with that and gradually my obedience to command #2 was also improving without having to work at it. 

These are all areas of my life where I was working very hard to improve yet  feeling frustrated because of so little progress.

All of them improved and got easier with every step of faith I took closer to God.

That’s why God wants us to put him first.  He wants to help us with all of the rest.  And then he wants to take it to the next level by blessing us with the things we didn’t even have on the list!

In my experience, we only have to open our lives up to the power of the Holy Spirit and he helps us grow our obedience with both commands.

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!

Thank you, dear Father!