In Chapter 2 of Revelation God shares with the church of Ephesus that they were practically perfect in every way. They were rocking in good deeds and works, strong in doctrine and kicking out the false prophets, and were strong in not falling for temptations around them. It was the example of the mega church on the corner. What could possibly be wrong? They abandoned their first love –Jesus. Awhile back we talked about in I John Chapter 3 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” We also read that sometimes our righteous acts are but “filthy rags ” (Isaiah 64:6).
The consequence of abandoning your first love is a loss of influence. We can hide behind service, doctrine, and deeds; however, the pure, true love of Jesus within us is what influences the world around us.
Day 5 of Fasting: To be in a state of Grace……
Fasting slows you down, sensitizes you to the things of God, and you notice His grace. His love is found in the smallest of details that we often miss because we are in such a hurry to fix, go, do. Works, doctrine, deeds. Oh My!
Remember your first encounter with Jesus? Pastor Stan discussed many things that keep us from our passionate first love experience with Jesus: apathy, compromise, rationalization, conflict, challenges. Don’t let man fan your flame. Allow God’s Word to fan your soul and bring back your Joy. His love.
We definitely had God moments in church today. One very special moment was when he asked us to turn to the person on our right and place your hand on them and pray. My person was my daughter, Vivian, and the pastor’s prayer as I repeated it over her life was unbelievably timely and precious. Thank you Jesus. Answered prayer.
I’ll leave you with a story about marriage that Pastor Stan shared to portray how over the years we lose sight of “our first love” through the metaphor of a marriage relationship. There is humor to this story but also much truth! Read between the lines not only for your marriage, but also in regard to your love for Jesus. Ask, what can I do to strengthen my first love with Jesus? And, if you are married, praying for that same connection with your spouse would be moving.
The Saturday Evening Post published an article entitled “The Seven Ages of the Married Cold.” It revealed the reaction of a husband to his wife’s colds during their first seven years of marriage. It went something like this:
The first year: “Sugar dumpling, I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle, and there’s no telling about these things with all this strep throat going around. I’m putting you in the hospital this afternoon for a general checkup and a good rest. I know the food’s lousy, but I’ll be bringing your meals in from Rosini’s. I’ve already got it all arranged with the floor superintendent.”
The second year: “Listen, darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I called Doc Miller and asked him to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl, please? Just for Papa.”
The third year: “Maybe you’d better lie down, honey: nothing like a little rest when you feel lousy. I’ll bring you something to eat. Have you got any canned soup?”
The fourth year: “Now look, dear, be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids, washed the dishes and finished the floor, you’d better lie down.”
The fifth year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”
The sixth year: “I wish you’d just gargle or something, instead of sitting around all evening barking like a seal!”
The seventh year: “For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”