Have you thought about your priorities in this new decade? Are you planning to put your family first, get out of debt, plan that trip of a lifetime, or spend more time making a difference in the world?
What about prioritizing your relationship with God so that Jesus becomes your first love in 2020 and beyond? If you’ve followed my ministry for any length of time, you know my core belief is that Jesus is the Only One who satisfies and therefore, the only relationship that will never disappoint. Scripture promises that when we seek Him first – and His righteousness – all the other things we desire (and tend to strive for) will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus wanted us to make Him our first love. In Revelation 2:2-3, He listed all the impressive things the first-century church at Ephesus had done in His name, but He reprimanded them for neglecting the most important thing: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4, NIV, emphasis added). In spite of all the good things the Ephesians were doing, God had a problem with them for losing their fervor and passion for Him. They had grown out of love with Him. In the New King James Version, that verse says, “You have left your first love.”
We “leave” our first love when we express more passionate love for something or someone else, when we give that passion away to someone less deserving, or we obey and serve God out of duty rather than devotion. When God isn’t our first love, it’s all downhill for us. Jesus called attention to how far the Ephesians had fallen in their devotion to Him: “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5). Jesus demands and deserves to be the first love in our lives.
What better way to turn over a new leaf, improve your life, or just get back to where you should be than to make Jesus your first love this new year? Here are just three ways you can “do the things you did at first” and make (or keep) Jesus your first love in 2020:
- Tell Him First
When a woman is in love, she often wants to tell her man all that is on her heart, all that happened in her day, all her concerns, and all she has hopes and dreams about. When something exciting happens, or when you’re dealing with something unexpected or even fearful, who is the first person youtell? Your mom? Your girlfriend? Your spouse? I used to call my husband at work, or my best friend who lived in my neighborhood, but I was often disappointed to hear the words “Can I call you back? I’m on another call.” Or worse yet, an unanswered call or no immediate response to my text.
Jesus is never on “another call.” He isn’t “out of the office” or “in a meeting” or not answering your calls or text messages. Your cries to Him will never go to voicemail, only to be ignored because He’s too busy to go through the prompts and listen to your verbal message. Jesus is always available to you. We know, from Scripture that He is the One who hears our cry (Psalm 18:6, 40:1).
Tell Jesus all that’s on your heart and mind before telling anyone else. Of course, He already knows whatever it is you’re going to say. But by making a point of telling Him first, you are -reaffirming to Him – and to yourself – that He is the single most important One in your life.
2. Treasure His Word
Can you imagine receiving a love letter from the object of you heart and only reading a little bit of it and then putting it on a shelf or in a drawer, intending to get back to it later? Can you imagine not knowing what is in that letter if you’ve never read it from beginning to end?
What if you decided that – since it was a really long love letter – to only read a little bit of it now and then? That would be ridiculous! You and I would devour that letter and re-read it so many times it would be ragged and worn.
Jesus has written loving words to us in His living Word. His many love letters are evident in the songs and promises of Scripture, in the prophetic books, and in the red-lettered words in the Gospels, as well as the letters to the churches in the latter half of the New Testament. Read His Word. Study it, memorize it, and meditate on it. A woman who delights in the Word of God loves to repeat it, reflect on it, teach it to others, and talk about it. A woman shows her love for the Word through her lifestyle, her actions, her daily choices. David prayed in Psalm 1914: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight.” When our words are His Word and our meditations are on His Word, we know they are acceptable and pleasing to Him. And we know that He is delighted. There are several reading plans to choose from on Biblegateway.com to help you read through God’s Word in a year or sooner. But don’t just read it. Treasure it. Pull it close. Show Jesus you love Him by loving His Word.
3. Talk of Him Constantly
Have you ever been around a woman in love? She can’t stop talking about the man who has won her heart. She goes on and on about how he can’t do anything wrong, how wonderful he makes her feel, how perfect he is in every way. When you love Jesus, you really do have a love who is perfect in every way (Psalm 18:30).
Start talking about Jesus and don’t stop. Talk about Who He is, what He’s done in your life, who you were before you met Him, and how you’re so much better off now that He’s the center of your life. When Jesus is first in your heart, a river of praise for Him will flow from your mouth (Proverbs 4:23). It won’t take long before you are identified by others as a woman in love – a woman whose first love is Jesus.
Which of these will you focus on this year? Let me know in the comment section below (along with the U.S. state where you live) and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of my popular devotional, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart. Three winners will be chosen on Monday, January 13, 2020.
Cindy as a newly widowed Christian, the Lord has shown me that He is truly my 1st love. I pray that this year I will go to Him 1st with anything and not to others. Pray for me as I lead a widowed/divorced group of ladies in your book ” When Women Walk Alone”.
Leisa, that’s wonderful that you are leading a group of women through my book, When Women Walk Alone. I’m thrilled to hear that, in spite of the pain and loss in your life, you are putting yourself in the position to encourage and lift up others. I strongly believe our healing comes quicker and more completely when we do that. Thank you for your obedience to His calling. He has good things in store for you. 🙂
Thank you so much for this inspirational and encouraging message. I will start with Tell Him first. when things in my life goes wrong or haywire and I need someone to talk to I will talk to Jesus. All 3 ways to make Jesus my first love are great and I will utilize them all. thank you and keep posting your great messages because they are great help to and for me.
Your post on 1/06 was a portion of my amazing revelation and manna for today. In the season of being unemployed, my flesh wants to yield to worldly jobs for identity crisis solution. But God has supplied all my needs and fulfilled my days with anonymous unexpected blessings. I serve and honor a God who I can tell all things to and He answers with “above and beyond” lovingkindness. He is my refuge and a lover of my soul. He will not allow me to give up on this life with Him. Whether it’s financial funds for the week, emotional comfort for my broken heart after denials, or simply the right fellowship among his believers….He never leaves me unattended. I abide in Him because His love reminds me of my worth in Him. My worth settled at Calvary is precious.
This all hits home in what I’m attempting this next 40 days. Going on a sugar fast and feasting on Jesus and his word. “Only Jesus fills me up inside” is my mantra. Wendy Speake is leading a tremendous group of women on Facebook in this fast and of course from some of the ladies comments, Satan is on attack.
I saw a billboard a few years ago that has never left me. It showed a picture of a newspaper and asked, “If God wrote an editorial in the paper would you read it?” He speaks through his word, read it!
Thanks, Gail, for those wise words. Always great to hear from you.
Thank you Cindi,
I love to read God’s Word.This year I am going to talk about Jesus more. I listen to the scriptures at night when I can’t sleep. It is a way I can learn more about Jesus and praise Him.
I love this reading. It made me stop to think about myself. It gave me intention on how to change my relationship with God and my goals for the new year by putting God first.
I love this! I’ve been working on going to him first for a couple of years. I had found myself immediately reaching out to others for prayer/to vent. There’s a noticeable improvement there. In reading this, I can sense the decline of speaking of him, so that is what I will focus on! Thank you for this reminder and encouragement 💜
Treasure His Word is my priority in the New Year
Ruthie from FL as I venture out to become a travel nurse this year
Each of these three ways will bring us closer to Him. 🙂
I want to feel the same way I did when I first gave my life to Christ. For the last number of months, maybe even years, I have chosen to spend most of my free time on social media, and games, etc. I am currently doing a 40 day sugar fast, and spending time in the Word.
I will spend more time in his word and even more so reflecting on his word. I want to spend more time in silence listening for Jesus to speak to me
I will tell God and Jesus first. I will study the word and grow closer in my relationship with God and Jesus. I will put god first in my plans and seek his plans for my life.
Talk to Jesus always. Be obedient to Him. Read his word daily.
Excellent motivation for the new year to help us seek Him, Cindi. Any other goal pales by comparison. My word for this year is “increase.” I want to decrease so He can increase. But also want to increase /grow in a number of areas, and one of them is in Seeking Him—so this is, as I said—excellent motivation!
Thanks, Dawn. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and sharing your wise words.
I will focus on #1 – Tell Him First. When I have a problem or concern, I usually want to talk it over with my mother rather than telling Jesus first about it. I want this year to reveal my dependency on Jesus and to make Him my first turn before going to anyone else.
I forgot to mention that I am from Ohio.
Thanks, Karen. 😉
Thank you Cindi. This is very helpful and informative.
I will focus on talking about God constantly
The Lord led me to treasure His Word more by following Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Not only do I want to continue practicing my meeting time with the Lord first thing in the morning, but have made a decision to meet with the Lord and His Word a half hour to an hour before I retire for the night. I’m used to watching some television with my husband or playing a game on my ipad, but the Lord convicted me of drawing closer to Him by starting and finishing my day with Him in a deeper way. He is the first Person I talk to in the morning, and the last Person I speak with in the evening.
I love that! Thank you, Lisa.
Jesus is my first and last ❤️love. First thing on my mind when I rise, last before sleep. I will meditate on talking with jesus first, before anyone else. He is always available to hear my hearts joy, tear, or concern. great advice. treasure your words of wisdom
Thank you, Ginger. And thanks so much for letting me know which state you’re in.
I want to focus on telling Him first this year.
Thanks for this! Just last night I was asking God to help me bring Him into my family’s everyday life ALL THE TIME. I need ideas, creative ways, and less fear of rejection. Your blog post is fitting for my own walk, and a perfect start for getting my own walk in order, while bringing my family alongside. Thank you.
This year, I want to talk about Jesus to others more often, tell them what he has done for me in every small and big ways, how he is ever-present in my daily life.
I am going to tell GOD everything. I will treasure GOD’S WORD. I will talk to GOD constantly.
I will focus on all three…What a wonderful analogy.
Thank you so much for putting this into perspective for everyone.
Thanks, Sharyn, for taking the time to read and respond with your thoughts.
Reinforces what we were told at prayer meeting yesterday. To focus only on the Lord this year and not on our circumstances. Not seeking him to meet our needs, but seeking to know him more, seeking to be transformed into his image. To be like Christ, that is glory!!!
I am beginning reading the bible from beginning to end … of course I am in Genesis. When I am reading the love and story of God’s word from the beginning I find myself noticing things I never did … they were just words that we knew. I was saved 40 years ago and although I have had times where I tried to justify my actions I never turned my back and closed that door. Now I am trying to get to really know Him again.
I’m glad you’re trying to get to know Him better this year, Cindy. Jeremiah 29:13 says “And you will seek Me, and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” 🙂
This year is dedicated to drawing close to Jesus as my constant friend, light, caregiver, and guide for my life, my actions, speech, thoughts. I have started a journal and I aspire to write letters to my #1 in my life. I know when He is in control everything will be ok. I depend on Him daily and I talk to Him and open up to Him because I know He has unconditional live for me. I live in Virginia
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your heart with me and my readers. That sounds like a great plan for this year.
I determined to read through the Bible this year as I’ve tried to do it in the past and then stopped in the last part of the Old Testament. This year I feel the Lord wants me to pursue Him and to fill my mind and heart with His words of wisdom. Your article reinforced my desire to daily be in His Word in a consistent way. Jesus is my first love and I feel He needs my attention before others. It’s been wonderful to know the Lord is my protector, provider and my joy in my daily life. Thank you for giving me the push to read the Word in a consistent way. Living in California has been a test as my family endured the Camp Fire in Paradise. Loss of possessions hurt, but the Lord has shown me that He will never leave or forsake me.
I talk to Jesus all the time and I do treasure his word, but I want to get better at telling him first. After going through a storm in my marriage, it has helped me to refocus, prioritize, and realize I had stopped doing some of the things I used to do in putting God first.
Life lessons will shed light on what you are or are not doing in honoring and glorifying God. I’m so blessed to have been raised by Christian parents who helped to build a strong Godly foundation in me and my siblings.
Thank you for providing messages that helps you to examine yourself.
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” -Jeremiah 31:3
First of all, I apologize to all of the Bible scholars who would say that I took the text out of context, but I believe the LORD drew me to read your article today out of HIS infinite love and grace which HE has bestowed upon me. Cindi, I am a man in love: I often tell my beloved wife of 35 years, Regina – I call her Honey because she is so sweet, “I love you, but JESUS loves you infinitely more!” Your article, Make JESUS Your First Love, reminded me that, as much as I love my honey and as much as she loves me, I must love JESUS first and foremost.
I thank GOD and I am grateful to you for allowing the LORD to use you to be such a blessing to me this day. See you here, there or in the air when JESUS comes!
Thank you, Howard, for sharing your sweet words to your wife and your sweet love for Jesus, too.
After wandering in the wilderness of denial, horror, and trauma for 40+ years I’m now in a season of healing. 2019 was probably the worst year of my life after falling and suffering a serious TBI. What Satan meant for harm God has made for good. It was a year that literally brought me to my knees with 100% dependence on Jesus; for my financial needs, love of a Father, love of a “husband” something I desperately needed. I now go to Him first for everything. Talk to Him constantly like He is sitting next to me. He blesses me with little beautiful treasures throughout the day… it just takes me taking my eyes off my problems and looking constantly to Him to see His constant little live notes He sends specially for me at the exact time I need it. I just had a friend who is a prophet, she called me out of the blue and called me out. She told me It’s time….I’ve been Playing small where God wants me to move BIG, move mountains. I am now ready and can’t wait to see how He will shine His light through me to help being broken vessels to Him. I’m from WA state. The light is coming to our dark state…a movement my Father has been preparing Me for. Prayers needed for strength, a flame and love for Jesus so I can be His chosen vessel to burn bright. Thank you for being a light in my life. 🙏🏻❤️☀️🙏🏻❤️☀️
The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is foundational to me, as a daughter of Zion!!! As such, I choose # 2 as my # 1 – Treasure His Word. To back it up is one of my favorite scriptures coming from Isaiah 26:3 “You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You”.
Subsequently, based on my trust in Him, #s 1 & 3 will fall in place!
Stay blessed Cindi.
Thank you for this! I want to talk to Jesus first, about the good things, so I remember to be grateful and thank Him, and also when I am going through trials. Too many times, I’ve worried and gotten so stressed out! Then I remember- tell Jesus about my problems! He can help! All that worry and stress could be avoided if I remembered to tell Jesus first! I’m from New Hampshire.
Cindi, i’m going to take all 3 steps towards the first love of my life. – New York
I’m so happy to hear that, Samantha. And thanks for leaving your comment and letting me know where you live.
Cindi, as I have studied your devotional this week along with scriptures and other commentaries I have my Word of the Year! -FIRST!- I have never chosen a word before and only nonchalantly thought of one for myself. And here it is! The “first” word I’ve ever designated as my Word of the Year! I feel it in my soul. FIRST
I’m so happy to hear that, Jackie. Thank you for sharing how you were inspired and encouraged to choose that word. Have a wonderful 2020 making Jesus FIRST.
I am on a journey to figure out what it means for God to husband me. I want to focus more to abide in Him and to be a worthy bride for Him. I will also focus on telling Him first.
Gizelle from Pretoria, South Africa
Thank you for your comment, Gizelle. God’s blessings as you seek to grow closer to Him. 🙂
I’m going to take all three steps!! Thank you so much for this article. It has taught me, encouraged me, and motivated me beyond words! I live in Richmond, Texas.
Thank you to each of you for warming my heart as you’ve told me what YOU will do this year to make Jesus your first love. I wish I could give ALL of you the free book, but the postage cost would break me. I decided to choose THREE winners, though, instead of one. Congratulations to Ginger of Illinois, Ruthie of Florida, and Samantha of New York. Watch for another book giveaway on my Feb. 11 blog post called “5 Ways Jesus is the Perfect Husband.”
I am going to make Jesus the first one I talk to about everything. That is my desire to show him how much I love him. And I talk a lot! Thank you for speaking on these topics and writing directly into my spirit. I confess I have many imaginary conversations with friends or relatives who can’t or won’t help me and Jesus is right there with me! I’ve failed him so many times and I don’t want to do that. Again, thank you for your life-changing words and ministry. Don’t stop!