November 18, 2024
- By Ed Powell
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"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."
John writes about the church at Ephesus and has eight encouraging things to say about its activity, zeal, patience and perseverance. But he concludes with a most damaging sign of its underlying nature. He said, "You have forsaken your first love." What a sad commentary on believers who had persevered and endured hardships for God and had not grown weary in their labor for God. Yet, that which should be the undergirding principle of their lives was lacking. They had forsaken their first love and their intimate relationship with God.
Unfortunately, we find this true among the most ardent Christians. Many believers have a determined sense of duty, a compelling zeal that is evident in all they do, showing great enthusiasm and a fiery quality, but all too often, these good virtues are lacking in that which the Lord treasures most: a tender, fervent love for Himself. It seems that works and service are the crutches that support their spiritual life, rather than an intimate personal relationship with the Lord.
Paul brings this out so emphatically in 1 Corinthians 13. He states very clearly. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."
Love to God must embrace the whole of our being and be that controlling factor that initiates all of our endeavors. Our friends and peers may look on us as wonderful examples in our work, but when that tender intimate relationship with Christ is missing, our efforts in the eyes of God are in vain. God treasures most in the believer that which can be nurtured only in the inner chamber of His sanctuary. We must spend time alone with Him so He can invade our life and implant within us the virtues of His life.
How blessed it is to find a believer who radiates with the love of God shinning spontaneously through his daily life. You know without question his relationship with the Lord is on the front burner. When I was in high school, I had a math teacher that simply was aglow with the love of Christ. When you walked into her room you knew something was different. It was the love of God that filled her cup to an overflowing measure. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had the love of Christ in such abundant measure? We can!
We need to take an inventory of our life to see if we are encumbered with "many things" but lack that which is most needful, His love as our first love. Christ considers this of the greatest importance. Let this be the focus of our heart and the mainspring in our relationship with Him. Everything else of importance must find its source of meaning from this relationship.
The love of Jesus must be paramount in our life if we are going to have an effective and fruitful life that will magnify Him. Nothing in our life will count for eternity except what He does through us. It will simply be His life lived through us without any impediments. Clean the channel of your life and let the Holy Spirit flow freely and fully through you for His glory. Don't let it be said of you, "You have forsaken your first love."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2024-11-18
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