May 1, 2020

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-10
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place.”
Revelation 2:4-5

When I started following Jesus, I was not very well organized in my personal affairs. It became evident when God called me to become a pastor and teacher. The strong sense of purpose He gave me led me to become orderly in the things I did. Without trying very hard, I prioritized the events in my life because I needed to study, support a family and spend time with them. However, the more I got involved in ministry, I began to struggle with an excessive emphasis on work at the expense of my family. Before I came to faith in Christ, I had found pleasure in activities that were harmful to my family. As I got involved with teaching, pastoring and other ministry activities, I discovered great pleasure in those things because my ego was being fed like never before. When I was forced to slow down after my cancer surgery, I realized how little time I was spending alone with God and my family. Other forms of adversity compelled me to recognize my need to focus much more on my relationship with the Lord and those closest to me. Now, because of His faithfulness and compassion, I am free to spend every conscious moment I can, enjoying intimate fellowship with the Lord in a way I never did before. I thank God for drawing me back to my first love.