“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
Something so awesome happened while doing bible study homework. The question was, “What is God’s great commandment?” The answer is in Deuteronomy 6:5. The amazing thing was that the words literally jumped off the page and pierced my heart!
I was so overwhelmed. It took awhile to process what was happening. I tried to recall if I had ever learned the great commandment in Catholic school. The one thing I did remember was that I was made to know God, to love Him and to serve Him.
If you had asked me if I loved God I would have said, “Yes,” but the love I had was casual. I took it for granted. God was way up there and loved me, and I was way down here and loved Him.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will enter and dine with him.” The Lord was knocking on my heart, and I finally heard and opened my heart.
I say this prayer every day: Lord Jesus Christ, I need you, believe in you and want you in my life. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Please heal, strengthen, guide and direct me. I love you Jesus.
“Your heavenly Father knows all that you need. Seek first his kingship over you, his way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides.” Matthew 32b-33
When I first heard people say they had “surrendered their life to Jesus,” I had no idea of what they meant. I didn’t understand how a person could know what God wanted them to do, nor could I imagine surrendering my plans for my life to anyone, not even God.
After studying scripture and spending more time in quiet prayer, I began to see God as a loving Father who wanted the best for me. One day I made a conscious decision not to manipulate the outcome of a particular situation. I prayed, turned it over to the Lord, and waited to see what He did. To my surprise, everything turned out just as I had hoped, and I didn’t have to worry or do a thing! The Lord did it all by Himself!
I began spending more time in prayer and less time in worry. I surrendered to the Lord more and greater things. I experienced such freedom knowing that someone greater than myself could do a better job of running my life than I could. Now I trust the Lord with all things, both big and small. I go to Him in prayer, give Him my troubles, my hopes, dreams and fears, and then wait patiently to see what His plans are for me.
“If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment. Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on you. The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you.” Matthew 7:1-3
Before I knew Jesus on a personal basis, I was critical, judgmental and controlling. I looked at everything and everyone through my eyes and judged them according to my standards. I also felt that I had to control all aspects of my life. I always had a plan and a schedule and didn’t want anyone or anything to sidetrack me from what I planned.
After coming to WCF, hearing the Word of the Lord and studying it, and learning how to truly pray, I came to know Jesus on an intimate basis. I came to know Him as someone who loved me for myself, and who cared about the choices I made in y life.
Since developing this relationship with Jesus, I am less critical and judgmental of others. I try to see them with the eyes of Christ. I look for the positives in them rather than the negatives. I have also learned to let God take control of my life. Instead of planning everything the way I think they should be, I pray and wait for the Lord to lead me. I look for His will in my life rather than my own.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and have faith in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places; otherwise how could I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me that where I am you may also be.” John 14:1-3
I sat alone in the small propjet that would take me to my mom’s house. I had only learned ½ hour earlier that my dad had passed away, and my mind was a blur. I was thankful for the roaring engine, which drowned out my sobs and my prayers to the Lord. I began flipping through my Bible, writing scriptures that could be read at the funeral. The Lord lead me blindly to many wonderful words which gave me comfort. One in particular was John 14:1-3: “Do not let your hearts be troubled . . .”
I arrived at my mom’s house at midnight and soon after went to sleep for the night in my father’s bed. When I awoke the next morning I saw on my dad’s nightstand his daily devotional. I opened to the page he had marked and read the words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, have faith in God and have faith in me . . .” In my darkest despair the Lord reminded me that He was with me, and my father was with Him.