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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The To-Do List that Will Change Your Life

Are you ready?  Here it is:



To-Do Today
1) Love God.

2) Love others.

3) Love yourself.



That's it.  Really.  It's that simple.

Not convinced?  Jesus put it another way:
"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?'  Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" Matthew 22:34-40
Have you ever seen the acronym for the word "JOY"?
Jesus
Others
You
It is a little corny, but it's true.

When we have our priorities in the right order--in this order--good things will happen.  GREAT things will happen.  When God is first in our lives, everything else will fall into place.

How does this play out in our everyday lives?
My prayer every morning is, "God, let me honor and glorify you today, in everything I say, do and think."  Putting God first means doing everything for him.  It means making him the most important person in our lives.
Then comes everyone else.
And "everyone else" has to be prioritized, too.  If you're married, this means your husband (or wife) should come first after God.  Not your boss, your coworkers, your friends, your teachers, or your parents.  Your husband.  If you're a mother (or father), your children are next, after your spouse.  Then your family, friends, and everyone else.
Then you.  This doesn't mean that you neglect yourself entirely for the sake of other people.  I'm not suggesting or condoning that at all.  Of course you need to eat, bathe, and rest--and take time to do things for yourself.  Notice Jesus didn't say, "Love your neighbor just like you love God."  He wants all that love for himself. :)  No, he said "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Jesus doesn't want us to hate ourselves!  In fact, in Ephesians Paul wrote, "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church..." (Ephesians 5:28-29).
We are to love everyone else just as much as we love ourselves: taking time for them, doing things for them, taking care of them, treating them with love, kindness and respect.

This will play out differently in each person's life.  My usual morning routine is, make breakfast for my husband, have devotions with him and pray together, and after he goes to work I do my writing and blogging for the day.

I don't keep this to-do list perfectly, of course.  I struggle every day with putting God first.  It's easy to remember that my husband needs clean clothes, good food, and time with me, but God doesn't have the same physical presence...so he's easier to forget, unfortunately.  But that's no excuse on my part.

The wonderful thing about all this is, God will and does bless us when we put him first.  And even when we fail, he still loves us, blesses us, and forgives us far more than we could ever ask or imagine.


Linking up with these lovely ladies today:
New Life Steward; Women Living Well; To Love, Honor and Vacuum; Deep Roots at Home; A Wise Woman Builds Her Home; Raising Homemakers; The Houtz House Party

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Jaimie! Honestly, the one I struggle the most with is loving myself...I tend to try to be perfect for everyone else and then actually forget about taking care of myself in the process. Being an introvert, that really screws me up sometimes!

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  2. The mission of my church is: Love God. Love One Another. Reach the World. We only differ on the last one. :) I think that by doing the first two well, WE will be loved in the process AND reach the world! I love that by loving God, we experience love ourselves! What an incredible thing! Thanks for sharing your to-do list! I'm visiting from WIP. - Tyanne

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  3. It is so amazing how God keeps bring up the verse Jesse and I are memorizing this week. Matthew 22:37-39 :) Thank you for sharing- it is so simple- yet so hard to live sometimes.
    God bless you Jaimie. The peace of Christ be with you.

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  4. I have to admit that until recently the loving myself was the hard one and it showed. Now I have learned that to fully love God, my husband, my children, and others I have to love myself and take care of myself.

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  5. What a wonderful post - and soo true! I am new in my faith, and every single moment I see more and more how true this is! For years, I worked so hard to be a good employee, girlfriend, etc and all the striving only bought me incredible stress. Since I have purposely turned all of my life over to Jesus, so many wonderful, amazing crazy incredible blessings keep raining down on me! I never ever thought "the good life" would be so simple - let Him live through me and walk in His Word. No, its not easy, but it is so much better than anything i ever could have done for myself! God bless you!

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  6. I remember the youth puppets singing a song about JOY using that acronym when I was in the youth group! Great post! :) Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday!

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  7. This is such a great post. This is EXACTLY what I've been trying to keep at the forefront of my brain every day. Do FOR him EVERYTHING in EVERY WAY for HIM and when i fail because I do often don't give up just start over. Great post friend!!! So happy you link up with into the Word Wednesdays!!

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