When my life

was threatened


I learned


that I truly love You, God,

more than my life


When I gave up meals

to fast and pray


I learned


that I truly want You, God,

more than food


When I denied myself

and I wanted to be first


I learned


that I wanted You above all, God,

more than myself


And when I surrendered my will

bowing low


I learned


that I long for Your plan, God,

more than mine


And the longer I walk with You, God,

the more I want to be near You


The more I know of You, God,

the more I want to know


The more I see of You, God,

the more I want to be wide awake


to You


– Susie Stewart


In the same way, if you want to be My disciple, it will cost you everything. Don’t underestimate that cost!

– Luke 14:33 (VOICE)


Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

– Matthew 6:33 (NLT)


…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

– Deuteronomy 8:3 (NIV)


Then Jesus went to work on His disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”

– Matthew 16:23-25 (MSG)


The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

– Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT)


Photo by Arik Stewart




As a new believer I often said my purpose was to know Him and make Him known.  Too often my emphasis was on making Him known rather than on knowing Him….  My desire to serve God was good, but my priorities were out of order.  God’s Word clearly says that the first and most important thing is this:  to love God with all our being (Matthew 22:37-38).  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second commandment is loving others, which includes ministry or works of service (Matthew 22:39).  I had reversed these two.

It’s so important to be able to say, I am not primarily a worker for God;  I am first and foremost a lover of God.  This is who I am.

…When our priorities become turned around, and we place more emphasis on loving others than on loving God, we are headed for spiritual and physical exhaustion.

– Linda Dillow


All of us need to be lovers who work rather than workers who love.

– Bob Sorge



You first, God


All others –








And not just in theory

but in Truth


I love You, Lord!

I delight in You

worship You

adore You


and I find my grounding here

find my purpose here


Loving You


And finding more reasons to love You

increases my delight in You

increases my awe of You

makes me want to love You more


For You loved me first

and drew me to Yourself


– Susie Stewart



O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust.
I seek You with every fiber of my being.
In this dry and weary land with no water in sight,
my soul is dry and longs for You.
My body aches for You, for Your presence.

– Psalm 63:1 (VOICE)


I have loved you with an everlasting love—
out of faithfulness I have drawn you close.

– Jeremiah 31:3 (VOICE)


One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

– Psalm 27:4 (NIV)


Come, let us worship Him. Everyone bow down;
kneel before the Eternal who made us.

-Psalm 95:6 (VOICE)


Photo by Susie Stewart



Many of us believe we have as much of God as we want right now, a reasonable portion of God among all the other things in our lives.  Most of our thoughts are centered on the money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the body we aspire to have, the spouse we want to marry, the kind of person we want to become…  But the fact is that nothing should concern us more than our relationship with God;  it’s about eternity, and nothing compares with that.  God is not someone who can be tacked on to our lives.

– Francis Chan


And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

– Luke 9:25 (NLT)


Physical sickness we usually defy.  Soul sickness we usually resigned ourselves to.

– Mark Buchanan


We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him against the things of this world.  It makes Him sick when we actually decide those things are better for us than God Himself.  We believe we don’t need anything Jesus offers, but we fail to realize that slowly, almost imperceptibly, we are drifting downstream.  And in the process we are becoming blind, being stripped naked, and turning into impoverished wretches.

– Francis Chan


But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

– Revelation 3:16 (NLT)


God, let me not be enticed to believe

that any thing in this life

compares with You


This life, my life,

is nothing

without my beautiful Creator


Keep me from love

of this world

to the neglect of my love

for You


– Susie Stewart



Photo by Susie Stewart




then second.

It started with decisions

                              His decisions

Because He has always been LOVE,

                                                  I was loved

and then….

He created

the Universe, heaven and earth, people and creatures,
All of it

And I was conceived
through His love

And He saw me

And I was born into this broken world

I grew

and I chose Him
but He had actually chosen me

My eternal life began
and I started to love Him

I trusted Him
I trust Him

and my life-dance has been stumbling through this broken world

and my own brokenness

and also
standing tall in victory

He has been
my Constant
my Encouragement
my Light
my Salvation
my Hope
my Love
my Rock

And I see Him
in people’s eyes
in the sun rising and falling
in the vivid flowers
in marriage
in children

all around

And His love in my heart
is the filter with which
I see the world
and the brokenness
and the beauty

I allow His Light to reveal every corner
even when it uncovers

and I know
Because I have seen

He redeems
He makes new

And I want Him First


with the flow of romance
and honesty
and listening
and connecting

and above all

His will be done

no matter what.


Because He first loved me.
Because that is the place He deserves.
Because only then am I satisfied.
Because there is my joy.


all of it

fade to second
Very second

in light of my relationship with Him

He knew me first

He is


– Susie Stewart

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.

-Ephesians 1:4 (NLT)

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…

-John 15:16 (NLT)

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb….”

– Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)

Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

– Matthew 22:37 (CEV)

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 8:38, 39 (NLT)

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

– Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)