Live Like the First Year

Every season in life is different. But there aren’t many experiences that evoke cherished memories and effect the future as much as the first year we do something. 

Remember your first year in high school? Your first year with your significant other? The first year at your job? College? In your new home? Marriage? On the team? Social media? With your best friend?

What about your first year with Jesus?

My first year with Jesus was different than it is now.  I was so in love. Willing to spend so much time with Him. I had a burning hot fire to learn all that He had to teach me. I poured my time into reading the Bible, eventually landed in a church and began praying for God to reveal my purpose. 

In that first year with Jesus, I was delivered from a gambling and smoking addiction, met the woman I would marry and launched a ministry called Testimony House. Those were huge answered prayers. Not to mention I began to smile and have joy and hope – things that were severely lacking in my life before Christ.  Now when I look at my life with Jesus, I don’t see those kinds of milestones taking shape anymore.

When I look at the prayers I’m believing for now, including the revival of St. Louis, for people to find God’s sentence for their lives and the salvation of my friends and family, I see prayers that are bigger than anything I could do on my own. My level of faith has needed to increase to even believe that these prayers for others could even be answered. Much different than the times I was praying for a wife and a revelation of my purpose – those were things that only involved me.

The first year of the special times in our lives are different than what they become. My pastor Aeneas Williams at the Spirit Church is now in the NFL Hall of Fame, but was once a first year walk on to his college football team. Since no one knew him or had faith in him, Aeneas had to work harder than most and have faith that he could reach goals that seemed out of reach at first.  He tells that story with great enthusiasm and excitement for what God did through him in that season and how God eventually brought him to a place of being in the NFL Hall of Fame.

The story pastor Williams doesn’t tell that way is the testimony of the middle years of his pro career. The years he spent continuing to hone his skills and talents to get to a place where he would be recognized as the best of the best. Without those years, he doesn’t get to where he is going. However, without the fervor and vigor of his spirit and attitude as that first year walk on player, he would never have gotten to that point.

The first year of major milestones in our lives are important. They set us up for success or failure. Relationships, jobs, housing and so on. How we act that first year is the foundation that the rest of our lives in that area is built on.

For some of you may be thinking, well my first year wasn’t so great. My foundation is rocky in this relationship or this job. I want to offer a suggestion.  When you make Christ the center of your life all of your foundations become solid.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

When she said yes! The scrapbook  is under her arm.

When she said yes! The scrapbook

is under her arm.

Nothing you have done wrong in that past can’t be made right in the eyes of the Lord. No rocky foundation can’t be fixed.  All we need to do is live like the first year in our relationship with Jesus.

The first year I dated my wife, I wrote down everything we did together and kept receipts and photos of the places we went. I used those keepsakes to make a scrapbook that I used in my marriage proposal to her.  I said, “If I’m willing to show my dedication and love to you in the first year of our relationship, imagine how much better it will grow.”

My love for Jesus hasn’t wavered, the things I am believing for have just gotten bigger and take more time to prepare. In this time or waiting, if I can act like I did in that first year, and pour my time and love into Him without hesitation, maybe this year will be another year of huge answered prayers.

Are you believing for Jesus to answer your prayer? Are you living like it’s your first year with Christ?

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