In the wake of my God encounter, like most new Christians, I began enthusiastically getting to know Jesus. Over the next eleven years, I diligently sought Him with passion and dedication. As a result, I was growing and experiencing positive change in myself and my relationships.

Yet, for the most part, I was still in the driver’s seat of my life.

Jesus was my Savior, but I had not fully surrendered to the transforming work of His Holy Spirit. Instead, I focused my energy on serving and “getting things done” for the Kingdom. I knew something was missing, and I was totally exhausted. I wanted more, but I did not know what that more was.

Then, one day while I was studying the Book of Revelation, God showed me something I had never seen before. He opened my eyes to a truth that would change my life. In Revelation 2:2, Jesus says to the church in Ephesus, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.” These things are all commendable.

But Jesus continues, “Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken the love you had at first” (Rev. 2:4).

I’d read this passage many times over the years, and I thought I knew what Jesus meant by “first love.”

But as I mulled over those familiar words, Jesus began to show me something deeper. He whispered to me that, though I had the deeds, hard work, and perseverance down pat, I still needed to experience that first love.

As I prayed over and meditated on this verse, the Holy Spirit showed me what I had been missing. He pointed me back toward the Father, who was inviting me into a special relationship with Him.

See, the problem that Jesus came to fix was the broken relationship between God and His children. Humanity had wondered far from His heart, and Jesus came to free us from the oppression of sin and death so that we could be reunited with our Father. He also restored our rightful identity as the children of God.

This is an excerpt from my new book Loved Like Jesus.

I wrote it because I want you to experience the deep love that your heavenly Father has for you. Living from this reality as a much loved son or daughter, you can rest in a confident connection with Him and experience abundant living and lasting freedom.

Order my book today for yourself and an extra copy for a friend, your pastor and/or your small group.

Be blessed, my friends.

Thanking Him for you,