The tricky thing about losing your first love…
…is you can do it without realizing it.
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
-Jesus, Revelation 2:2-4
What I’m extremely aware of in this stage of my life is the fact that the Ephesians did everything right. Jesus has no complaint for the Ephesians about anything that they did or didn’t do. No sin was mentioned and there was no rebuke for what was left undone. These guys worked hard, were patient, tested false apostles, endured persecution patiently for the name of Christ, and even after doing all of that they didn’t grow weary.
They lost their first love. And even though on the outside everything was good, on the inside their love had grown cold. In fact, everything they had done so well was in jeopardy because they missed the reason they started in the first place: they loved Jesus. I struggle with this because we as Western believers measure so much of our spirituality based on what we do. And while we need to be people who obey Jesus, Christianity can quickly become about what we’ve done for Jesus lately.
I don’t want to be the guy who did all the right things but lost my first love. I don’t think you do either. But losing our first love happens slowly over time, little bit by little bit.
Until one day it’s gone.
These words were written to a historical church in Asia Minor, but they were written down and recorded for our benefit. Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Don’t let your love for the Lord grow cold. Take time to make sure the fire is burning brightly inside and you’re not just dealing with glowing ashes.
The cure that Jesus gives us if we find our selves in this same spot is simple. Look where you’ve come from! Remember the love you felt in your heart towards God when you first came to Jesus. And when you see where you’ve fallen from, do the things that stirred up your heart in those early days when it was just you and Jesus.
None of us wants to lose our first love. But we have to decide to keep it.
May the the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with God’s love, meet you as you examine your heart today.