Remember when you first met him/her? Remember that feeling?
I remember when I met first Johnny. Our chats were unending. Our walks were really long, talking about everything and everything. We were really “love smitten” you know. No one wanted to ‘hang up’ the phone first.
First forward to our first year of marriage, we seemed like two different people who had never experienced the glow and zest of that exhilarating love. We moved, went to church, did it all, out of our ‘roles’, but our love was quietly fading into oblivion. We both held fast onto our ‘self-convictions and preferences,’ each of us with a set of oughts’ and ought nots in marriage – that really did us more harm than good, until…
It was until we totally surrendered. Totally gave up our hard clenched rules. Totally abandoned the high seats of “me and I” and decided to step down and wash each other’s feet.
It was until we decided to serve each other in love, without expecting a standing ovation. Totally become undemanding.
It was until we remembered, repented and returned back to where we first met – our first love.
We recently decided to have a marriage getaway to re-group and think together and prepare for 2019. Part of the things we did was look back at our lives and journey of marriage in 2018 and point to each other places we felt were done so well and places we felt were neglected. This was not done to demean either of us, but to keep our marriage candle burning bright.
The Bible says this in Revelation 2:1-5
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp-stands:
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 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 lamp-stand from its place—unless you repent.
The church of Ephesus was great at theology and orthodoxy. It did everything as per the book. Church members never missed a sermon, always on time. They never missed the Bible studies, nor the conferences.
They vetted every member who claimed to be an apostle of Christ, and indeed found others way below the scorecard, but, they had lost their first love.
They had lost the depth of their love towards Christ and serving Him was only a matter of obligation rather than love. Their zest was waxed by the issues of life. Their zeal clouded by experience rather than the revelation and grace that Christ gives.
Christ gave them credit for doing so well as per the worldly standards, but warned them that their feet were quickly running towards the gates of Hades.
He called them to remember, to repent and to return back to where the church first met His bridegroom – Jesus Christ, lest He pulls out their candle from its place. How dark would their live be?
Are you so great at doing “things” for Christ and forget what He most longs for from you?
Are you one of those people who was or is so good at forwarding bible messages, copy pasting “great messages”, great at posting so many bible verses on your timeline, on Facebook or Instagram, captioning, “off to church” or “blessed by God”, on Sunday, yet the power of the cross never changes you inwardly? On Monday and the rest of the week, you are a weak Christian who needs to be propped up, otherwise the tides of life quickly sweep you off?
Are you on a program, checking off everything daily on your to-do list, yet forget that He longs for intimacy with you? To speak to you and transform your very core with His Word? Are you pegged on getting a clap from your Pastor for being the best in church, yet miss the Lord’s presence?
Are you missing out on His love for other loves?
Is Jesus a program to you, or your Master, friend, confidant, and savior?
He longs for us this year.
Calls us to remember how much He loved us that He died for us a shameful death and endured the pain of the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). He knew that He will win us to Him. His love unending and implausible, yanked us out from the bondage of sin and made us whole in Him. He loves us. He loves you. Not because you deserve it, but because His essence is love. He calls us to REMEMBER…
He calls us to confess and repent for forsaking Him. Those who confess shall be saved (Romans 10:9). He calls us to repent, for being drawn by other secondary loves. For treating him as a check out list, for not loving Him enough to penetrate every point of our lives. He sanctifies, He cleanses, He renews, He redeems, He binds and heals broken hearts. He calls us to REPENT…
He calls us to return to Him. He waits. Patiently. Not quickened to anger, but waits for us, His unfaithful bride, to return to His arms (2nd Peter 3:9). He’s the faithful Groom. He, the Lord who never wonders off even when our feet lead us to stray and our minds inundated by worldly pleasures, delights in loving us. He calls us to RETURN…
He longs for our hearts to still burn with passion for Him. To yearn for Him as the deer pants for the streams of water. To lead our paths in His goodness and righteousness. To trust Him with our darkest moments. To touch our eyes that we may hear Him, the Shepherd’s voice, and to transform our mouths with coals of fire, that our speech will be seasoned by His unfading grace.
Let us remember, repent and return to our first love. Agape love, the Lord God is His name. Just like there is no substitute for unconditional love and devotion to one another in marriage, the same mirrors the love that we should have for Christ and more.
Our devotion is to Him first – our first love, the rest align themselves after Him.