by Pastor Steven Grant

In 2004 I battled a life-threatening case of severe pneumonia and pleurisy. One of the things I remember most about that experience was being confronted with the possibility that my life might end, and it became very clear to me what mattered most in my life. A teaching of Jesus that jumped off the page at me was, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus was saying that whatever you consider to be your treasure will have your heart. Without any hesitation, my dear wife Nanette and our precious son Evan immediately came to mind as I began to name my treasures. I also thought of other family members and friends, the church, the Bible, and our great nation. Music was next, as I gave thanks to God for blessing me with a life of making music and the joy of being able to appreciate music with such depth.

Then I was stopped in my tracks. I could hear in my head and in my heart as clearly as if someone were speaking to me in an audible voice, “What about me?” All of a sudden, an overpowering force seized my soul. I had never in my entire life felt such an overwhelming sense of love for Jesus than I did in that moment. I broke out in an uncontrollable sob, recognizing that when potentially all else is lost, when life ends, all I have is Him, and no one loves me as much as He does. At that moment, my heart sang out! Among all the tremendous blessings with which God has so graciously given me, none is more treasured than my Lord Jesus Himself.

It is a good thing, too! By putting Jesus before all things, I am able to live life to the fullest as I never could before. Putting Jesus first in my life enables me to love more genuinely than ever before, Jesus’ way: to be the best husband and father I can possibly be, the best citizen, the best brother or friend, and yes, even the best pastor the Spirit enables me to be. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). I believe that He meant for us to see ourselves first and foremost as His disciples, putting our love of Him above all, because that will impact every other aspect of our lives. When Jesus is truly the Lord of all of life, then the natural result is to live life reflecting the One who is the way, the truth, and the life!

My Lord Jesus, teach me to love You as I ought to love. Empower me to be Your faithful disciple so I may glorify Almighty God and be a blessing to all those You cause to cross my life’s path. Thank you for being my life, my love, and my salvation! Amen!