First Love

Have you ever fallen in love? When I was engaged to my wife, Lisa, I was head over heels in love with her. I thought of her constantly. I'd do whatever was necessary to spend as much time with her as possible. If she needed something, no matter what I was doing or what time it was, I would jump in my car and get it for her. I didn't have to force myself to talk to people about her-I extolled her praises to anyone who would listen.

Because of my intense love for her, it was a joy for me to do whatever she wished. I didn't do these things to prove I loved her; I did them because I loved her. She had all my attention. My affections were set on her. I wasn't interested in any old girlfriends anymore. There was no other girl I wanted. She was the apple of my eye. But a few short years into our marriage, I turned my attention and affection to other things, such as the work of the ministry. It was now bothersome to do something for her. Taken for granted, Lisa was not in my thoughts as much. Gifts for her came out of obligation on Christmas, anniversaries, and birthdays-and even that was a bother. Our marriage was in trouble. Our first love was dying! Because the intensity of our original love was no longer there, it was difficult even to get along. Since then God turned my heart and let me see how selfish I had become. Graciously, He rekindled the flames of our first love and healed our marriage. In light of this, you can understand why Jesus said:

"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent" (Revelation 2:4-5).

Jesus is speaking to the Church here! What does He mean, "repent and do the first works"? At the beginning of this address He says, "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil." So we are not talking about an inactive people. So why does He say, "Repent and do the first works." The answer is they were now serving Him out of obligation, not out of a love relationship. He is saying, Repent-change your heart, let your love return to Me; put away your idols and serve Me once again out of love, not tradition!

Bevere, John. The Voice of one Crying. Apopka: Messenger Press, 1993, p. 127-128.

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