Lamentations 5:21 Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old,
The drift to cold-heartedness is subtle. Don't allow apathy, indifference, or familiarity to take the place of your 'first love'.
The Lord Jesus offered the church at Ephesus both encouragement for their commendable qualities and exposure of their hidden sin. He commended their deeds, their discernment, their doctrine, dedication, and discipline (Revelation 2:2-3, 6). 'But I have this against you', he said, 'that you have left your first love.' (See Revelation 2:4)
In His grace, the Lord Jesus calls the Ephesians to circumvent the potential disastrous consequences of their sin. Recognize your slippage and falling from your first state of gratitude, amazement, and whole-hearted devotion. Remember your first affections for Jesus and the wonders of your salvation. These were produced by the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Repent of your sin of having given permission for other things to take His place in your affections. Return to those first works that were inspired by your new life in Christ. As you give yourself to Him with a fresh surrender, remember WHO you are serving, WHY you are serving and HOW you are to serve (in His strength and not your own). Let Him fuel your affections as you focus on WHO He is and WHAT He has done.
Call upon the Lord to keep the fire of your passion alive. Delight yourself in the Lord. Let the light of His Word drive away shadows of unbelief. Anchor yourself to His rock-solid truth and He will keep you through the storms. Be steadfast for His Name's sake and He will refine you in the fires of affliction. Set your affections on things above. Love what He loves and hate what He hates. Never stop singing His praises. Return to those first inclinations of your newborn life in Christ.
Your commendable deeds, doctrines, dedication, discernment, and discipline may be in place, but if they are not fueled with genuine affection for Who God is (upward affections), His Church (inward affections), and the lost (outward affections), you are missing out on your reward. At this moment you could be partaking of fellowship with the only One who is the restorer of the Paradise of God and the only One who gives access to eternal life (fellowship with the Eternal Godhead). (Summary of "First Love Restored" Part Two)
Join us for a continuing series from the Book of Revelation at New Life Community Church which continues on August 16th.
We are pleased that Paul Cooke will be preaching on John 8 this Sunday, August 5th at the Concord Scout House.