As a nineteen year old girl with my whole life ahead of me, I will admit that I frequently think about what the future looks like.
With that comes many questions of uncertainty: Will I venture off to a big city or stick with the comfort of a small town? Will I ever decide on what my major will be?! (Still undecided but that’s another story for another day) will I have the “American dream” house with the white picket fence or the Southern Antebellum home with a wrap-around porch I have always wanted?
Will I have 3 kids or 4? Maybe 5? and of course, the most anticipated question of them all…Who will I marry? Who will I grow old with and sit with in rocking chairs on our wrap-around porch?
However, the more I pray about my future, the more I anticipate it and lean on God’s guidance in the uncertainty of life, the more I find rest in Him. “Love Me First“, he continues to say.
The Greatest Commandment Jesus tells us comes from Matthew 22:37-38. “And he said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and FIRST commandment.’”
Notice Jesus doesn’t say we should love our reputation first. He doesn’t say we should love our possessions first. He doesn’t say we should love our significant other first. Nope. He says love the LORD YOUR GOD with everything that is within you first, and nothing in your life should come before Him who created you for His Glory.
Love God First…fall deeply in love with Him to where obeying him and pursuing a relationship with him is all that you think about. Love Him to where He is at the forefront of your every thought, to where you cannot go a day without spending time with Him in the word or in prayer. Love Him to where you begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Loving God First is the call we have on our lives.
God. Is. Love, and this letter, which has encouraged me for years and comes straight from God’s word, is a demonstration of how much He loves us and desires us to fall in love with Him too:
“Dear child of mine,
I know everything about you. (Ps 139:1) I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Ps. 139:2) Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matt. 10:29-31) For you were made in my image. (Gen. 1:27) For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)
I knew you even before you were conceived. (Jer. 1:4-5)
I chose you when I planned creation. (Eph. 1:11-12) You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. (Ps 139:15-16) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps 139:14) And it is my desire to lavish my love on you (John 3:1) simply because you are my child and I am your father. (1 John 3:1) I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. (Matt. 7:11) For I am the perfect father. (Matt. 5:48) Every good gift you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17) For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
4(Matt. 6:31-33) My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jer. 29:11) because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3) My thoughts towards you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Ps. 139: 17-18) I will never stop doing good for you. (Jer. 32:40)
I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jer. 33:3) If you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me. (Deut. 4:29) Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4) For I am able to do far more than you ask and think. (Eph. 3:20)
I am your greatest encourager (2 Thes. 2:16-17) and I will comfort you in all your troubles. (2 Cor. 1:3-4) When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Ps. 34: 18) One day I will wipe away each tear from your eyes. (Rev. 21:3-4) I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.
(Rev. 21:3-4) I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. (John 17:23) For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. (John 17:26) He is the exact representation of my being. (Heb. 1:3) Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Cor. 5:18-19) If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. (1 John 2:23)
Do not conform to the ways of this world, but instead be transformed by a new identity you have in me. (Romans 12:2) Do not live according to the flesh for you will die, but rather live according to the Spirit which gives you life in me. (Romans 8:13) Walk by faith in me, not by what you see in this world. (2 Cor. 5:7)
For there is freedom found in me (Gal. 5:1) I have always been Father, and I will always be Father. (Eph. 3:14-15) Love me with all your heart, soul, and mind. (Matt. 22:37) I have great plans to prosper you. (Jer. 29:11) Be still and know that I am God.(Ps. 46: 10).
Your Almighty Father.”
Whenever I get scared of what my future holds… whenever I start to lose sight of the path my Heavenly Father has set before me… I read this letter to remind me of how deeply He loves me. He has my whole life planned out. My prayer is every day that I seek first His Kingdom from when my feet hit the floor in the morning to when I lay my head down at night. I do not want to miss out on the amazing opportunities the Lord places in front of today because I am too anxious about tomorrow.
Fall in love with the Lord your God first and the rest will come.