First Love. First Priority.

Chad Hellenthal

November 4, 2015

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “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.    And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

How can a commandment so clear and simple be so challenging?  Why do we so often fail to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind?   Is He asking too much of us considering the fast-paced and demanding world we live in?  I’ll assume most of us can relate to the struggles Paul experienced when he wrote, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).    

Pastor Jimmy Nimon shared the following image during a recent sermon as a representation of our ministry/service time vs. intimate time/relationship with God.  The small part above the water is what we do for Him…. everything underneath the water is indicative of our time spent with Him; at least that is how it should be.  

iceberg-upside-downToo often, so many of us (myself included) flip this iceberg upside down.  We focus primarily on what we can do for Him, neglecting to spend the intimate time with Him that He so desires.

May we each compare the intimacy of our relationship with the Father to the image of the iceberg.  Do we strive to serve Him significantly more than we hunger and thirst to know Him?  

Growth Challenge:  Implement a practical lesson from Jesus’ own actions. “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).  

Let each of us become one who is after God’s own heart!  This can only be accomplished by delighting in the intimate time alone in His presence more than anything else in our life.  

About the Author: Chad Hellenthal

1 Comment

  1. cathy swift

    Jimmy, I want you to know how much the iceberg picture spoke to me. I now see the importance of having the strong secret place as the most special place to spend time getting to know Jesus and His love.


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