Carefully Consider

My priorities are important to God.  When he tells me, “love me first”, he means it.  If I miss that, I can expect consequences.

God explains this to me in Haggai when his people had their priorities messed up. “Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much but harvest little.   You eat but never have enough.  You drink, but never have your fill.  You put on clothes but are not warm.  You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

God’s people were selfishly putting their own work in front of finishing God’s temple and they were paying the consequences.

Painful consequences.

I don’t want these words to describe my life so I need to carefully consider my priorities.  I need to choose God first and prioritize his purposes and his plans.  That’s the only way I’m going avoid harvesting little or feeling like I never have enough.

When I can change my self-centered thinking to God-centered thinking, it’s not hard to stay in line with his priorities.  I know he loves me with a perfect love.  He wants the best for me and nothing is impossible for him.

After careful consideration, I choose God.  I choose his priorities.

Amen, let it be so, Abba Father.

My Heart Condition

Is it soft?

Is it big?

What’s the condition of your heart?

Writing about the size of our hearts reminds me of one of the Glasser Family’s Christmas traditions.  We watch ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” every year.  The Grinch was very concerned about the size of his heart so he often measured it.  He wanted a small heart so he wouldn’t feel anything or care about anybody else.

What about us?

Do we want a small heart?  A hard heart?

God talks to me often in his Word about the condition of my heart.   In Ezekiel 11, God  tells me I must –

  • turn away from focusing on what I want,
  • lose my need for control,
  • simplify my life so that I’m never too busy to spend time with God.
  • change my priorities so that I can love him with all my heart, soul and mind.

When I do these things, God promises he will me give me an undivided heart – a heart centered on him and his love and his grace.  He promises he will bring a new wind of his spirit into my life – giving my life purpose and meaning.  He promises to replace my rebellious and self-centered heart with a heart devoted to obeying God.

I’ve been on this Journey Toward the Truth getting to know God through his Word for many years and, as the years accumulate, I see God transforming my heart.  He is softening it and opening it up to the things he loves and cares about.  He has brought a new, powerful wind of his spirit into my world, giving my life purpose and meaning.  My heart has become undivided and centered on God.

What is the condition of your heart?

Please grow our hearts, Abba Father.

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!