You've Lost Your First Love | Revelation 2

Welcome to Real Life. “I don’t love you anymore.” They are devastating words to hear. How does it happen? How does a relationship fall from passionate love to indifference? 

The heart of Christianity is a relationship. Following Christ is more than keeping rules and performing good deeds. The early church in Ephesus had the rules and deeds down pat. Jesus tells them, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.”

But relationships are more than serving one another out of a sense of duty. I am a doer. I like to accomplish things. I can get so busy “doing” that I forget my initial motivation for the doing. It’s easy to go about my Christian routine – daily devotions, attending church, volunteering, donating money - with a heart far from Jesus. That’s what was happening in Ephesus. Though Jesus commends their deeds, he desires more:


“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”

If I go through the motions of serving Jesus without being motivated by my love for him, it means nothing. Even if I die a martyr’s death or give every penny in my bank account to the poor – without love, I gain nothing.[1] God is love.[2] Love is his priority. It’s not always mine. Love should be what my relationship with Jesus is all about. He tells the Ephesians,

“Remember the height from which you have fallen!
Repent and do the things you did at first.”[3]
If I've fallen out of love, what’s the cure? Remember. Remember why I fell in love with him in the first place. And repent, turn around and go back, back to the early days of falling in love. I couldn't wait to see my beloved. I always wanted to be with him. He was the most important part of my life. I could survive without food or shelter, but not without his love.

Jesus is the lover of my soul. How passionate is my love? Remember. Remember when I first heard of his love and grace, first understood the cross, first
fell in love with Jesus. I thought of him constantly. Everywhere I went, I felt him holding my hand. I couldn't pray enough, read his Word enough, or be in church enough. I couldn't stop talking about him. Nothing else mattered. Remember. Repent – go back.

A Real Life in Christ is more than going through the motions. Life without love means nothing.

Lord, I get so busy doing things for you that I stop spending time with you. My heart grows cold. Shift my focus. Help me to remember and repent. May I never forsake you, my first love.

Taking it further …

  • Have you told Jesus that you love him today?
  • I went through a long season where it was hard for me to love God, because I struggled to experience his love. Read more in “Do You Really Love Me?” I pray that you will know in the deepest part of your soul how very much he loves you. 
[1] 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
[2] 1 John 4:8 and 16
[3] Revelation 4:5

Image of holding hands from: http://catholiclane.com/wp-content/uploads/holding-hands-.jpg

Comments

  1. Excellent, Peggi. Wise words. Experiencing his love is a struggle, and only when I do can I pass it on without effort.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linnea. The love of God is passed on through you so beautifully - so naturally! It's a joy to know you.

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  2. Hi,
    J I Packer wrote a book that I bought a some years ago entitled Knowing God and then I read three of Watchman Nee's books, which changed my ideas of what loving God really meant. Since then I have discovered that the knowledge of God is interwoven in loving him and being loved by Him. It is like a couple who have been married, faithful and wooing to each other for more than fifty years. Behind that bright shining light of their love are tests and difficulties that has melted them together and their love shines brightly. I personally believe loving God is like that happily married couple whose marriage has stood the test of time. One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is found in Exodus 33. There, Moses is talking with God and God says to Moses, You have found grace in my sight and I know you by name. That is love! To hear God say, you have found grace in my sight and I know you by name expresses love that comes only through knowing him by seeking him out and spending time with him, and that is not only on a daily basis, but anytime you feel the desire to reach out to him during each day. This is intimacy with depth that creates a bubble of love, which surrounds the person that seeks Him as their beloved. It is an intim personal relationship and that is love.
    Thank you, Peggi. I enjoy reading your words of wisdom because they help me my feet on the grounded and they help keep me rooted.
    Love you.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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  3. Hi Patricia,
    I love the marriage illustration that you used. Earlier today I was reading a book by Mary Southerland and she described our relationship with Christ as a marriage also. But, it was beautiful how you elaborated on it. I love the line "This is intimacy with depth that creates a bubble of love, which surrounds the person that seeks Him as their beloved." I understand. I've experienced that bubble of love. It is awesome!
    Thank you, friend. Love you, too. :)

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