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I recently visited my family for Thanksgiving and spent quality time with my young niece. Each day, before her nap and bedtime, she wanted to read a book or two, which helped her rest and drift off to sleep. The first book she would always point to for me to read was a book about Jesus and the Easter story. Of course, this was the much briefer toddler version, but still the same great message. I did not fully realize this was the book she was consistently choosing to read first until my mother brought it to my attention and shared how much she loved that specific story.
My niece truly loves this story of Jesus. It makes me wonder, though, as she chose the book about Jesus before the others, if we truly are choosing and loving Jesus, first. Do we love Jesus above other things? Do we love Him above our jobs, homes, family, friends or money? In Revelation 2:4 (ESV), the church of Ephesus is accused of forsaking their first love: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” However, there is hope, as there always is with Jesus Christ. In verse 5, the church is told to repent.
In Matthew 22:37, Jesus spoke about how loving the Lord is the first and greatest commandment. In discussing loving God, it is so important to remember His great love for us:
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
We are truly loved. We are His Beloved. Maybe my niece feels the love of the Lord through the book she always wants to read first. Who knows? What I do know is God is worth it, He’s worth the love. He has already lavished His love upon us by creating us and sending Christ Jesus into the world to win the victory over sin and death in our lives and restore us to a right and loving relationship with Him. We are made new—through Jesus—righteous and pure! Right now, as you are reading this, I pray that His love becomes tangible for you.
How do we love God first? I encourage you to spend time with the Lord and speak with Him. Is there anything separating you from understanding His deep love for you? Allow the Lord to minister to you through the Bible and in prayer. Another question to ask: Is there anything you love more than the Lord? If there is something that comes to mind, bring it before Jesus wholeheartedly. He loves you and forgives us when we turn (or repent) and set our eyes fully on Him.
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