Due to the great response to last week’s blog post, I have decided to honor my beloved wife again. This time I have done so by asking her to write the post for this week. I was thoroughly impressed, and I know you will be blessed by her words.
My First Love.
Next week is Valentine’s Day and although I really look forward to the romantic gestures, lovely smelling flowers, delicious treats, and my personal favorite: sparkling jewels! I must say that I have realized something much more important than these fun aspects of this pink and red holiday. I have forgotten something so monumental.
I have forgotten my first love.
In Revelation chapter 2, Jesus is commending the church in Ephesus for all these awesome, wholesome, and amazing things that they are doing and have done. Then in verse 4 he says, “BUT, I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Woah! When I first read that a while back I kind of just glazed over it thinking “yeah, they forgot about God.” and I kept going on with my life. The irony is I did the EXACT same thing. Then While Brayden was teaching our small group one Sunday morning, we read this verse and yet again I thought, “Man! They keep forgetting their Love for God, how horrible!” and I kept going on with my life. Even this morning as I participated in Bible study with a group of ladies going through the book of Hosea, we referenced this verse and I even quoted it! Then it dawned on me, BUT, I HAVE FORGOTTEN MY FIRST LOVE. I am blessed with knowledge and understanding about God. I can tell you many facts about Him and quote numerous scriptures to you. I can sing you the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me” and I know in my head it is true, but sometimes I think we take knowledge for granted and even sacrifice it for intimacy. We know God loves us, but do we know God intimately? Verse 5 of Revelation chapter 2 goes on to say: “Remember therefore where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.”
Remember from where you have fallen.
I do not deserve the gift of salvation that God has given me. I did absolutely nothing to earn it. In fact, I deserve the opposite; I deserve to be separated from God forever. But, I will be the first to admit that I sometimes take His gift for granted. I feel a sense of entitlement, like I earned my relationship with Him – I did not. I believe that if we lose sight of the place from which we have fallen, then we cannot fully appreciate the redemptive grace God has bestowed upon us.
As a girl growing up I made mistakes and would get in trouble and my favorite word to my parents, sisters and friends was “Sorry”. Then the next day I would make the EXACT SAME MISTAKE. Was I really sorry? No. I was just saying “sorry” to get out of the consequences created by my actions. This is not repentance. When you repent you take a 180 degree turn and go the opposite direction. Yes, there are still times I make mistakes because I’m human and have a nature bent towards sin. That’s why we sing, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” Repentance is a decision that is made daily. And when you decide to repent you can sing the next line, “here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”
And do the works you did at first.
Or as Jennifer Rothschild said when referring to Gomer and Hosea, “Do what you did when you first said ‘I Do’.” Most weddings end in a honeymoon, a getaway trip for the bride and groom to know each other in the biblical sense. This honeymoon is usually followed by a ‘honeymoon season’ in which the bride and groom live in this land of bliss and flower petals on the bed, beautifully designed and clean house, artful dinners, and the perfect addition to any newly married couple is a brand new fur baby. Of course, all of this is brought to you by Pinterest. In this season of perfection we are still, in a way, dating our spouse. We are sweet, kind, on our best behavior, and still afraid to stink up the bathroom while they are home. But, all of that goes away. Schedules start back up and there’s no time to make that dinner you pinned earlier. The fur baby ruined your new designer rug, and you just really needed to use the bathroom.
Jesus is asking us to remember, remember where we came from, repent from those ways and return our hearts, and in turn our actions to the way it was when we confessed our love for God. Our actions are an outpouring of our heart. I know I don’t always, but I want to seek God first. I want to rekindle our love. I want to worship Him, glorify Him, and honor Him. So for this week, next week, and the weeks to come I will challenge myself and all who read this to remember your first love, rekindle your first love, and put God first. This is how He will use you for His kingdom and glory.
Thanks be to our God,
Lauren A. Buss