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By: Heiden Ratner

[/nectar_highlighted_text][nectar_single_testimonial testimonial_style=”basic” quote=”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” – Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV”]

When you think of the word “love”, what immediately comes to mind? Is it a feeling, an emotion, or perhaps a person? I know for the majority of my life it was a sport – basketball. I loved the game of basketball more than anything else and my love was reflected by my actions. I found myself at the gym on a daily basis working on my game and then back at it outside when I got home. I dreamt about playing at the highest level and found my identity in being an elite basketball player. I learned that when you truly love something, it consumes you from the inside out.

When I became a follower of Jesus my freshman year of college, I noticed my love relationship changing. I found myself devoting more time, energy, and passion toward my relationship with Christ, rather than the sport I once idolized. The words of Deuteronomy 6:5 began to make sense, as the Lord instructs: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This newfound love activated heartfelt affection for the Lord, my soul began to crave time with the Lord, and my might was trigger to act upon this love. Ultimately, this made me an even better athlete, as I now knew the real reason why I was playing basketball: Because I loved Christ, and wanted to glorify Him with the game He had given me. Love changes everything!

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ACTION STEP: Take an inventory of your life and write down the items that get the most time, energy, and passion. These are most likely the things you love most. Confess these items to the Lord and ask Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to deepen your love relationship with Him.

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PRAYER: Father, I pray in Jesus name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that You would deepen my love relationship with Christ and that You would help me identify any idols in my life that are competing for Your love. Lord, I want to love You more. Thank You for loving me first! In Jesus name, Amen!

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