A.L.L. For Jesus Lesson: Getting Back to Our First Love
We need to be reminded all the time of how much Jesus loves us. That Jesus says yes to us! We also need to reflect on our love for Jesus and how often we say yes back to Him. We need to Get Back to our First Love.
I was saved when I was in high school. My mom and I had gone to a woman’s retreat with my grandmother’s church form Maine and it was a weekend conference with classes and worship and a special speaker. I don’t remember everything the speaker talked about that night but I know that it touched my heart. The woman speaking told the story of when Jesus was baptized. When He came out of the water in Luke 3:22,
“22 and the [a]Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are My Son, My Beloved, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!”
At the end of her message, she led the room in the prayer of salvation. Then, she asked everyone to close their eyes and she walked around the room. She said, whoever prayed the prayer of salvation should open their eyes and look at her when she walked by as a confirmation of our desire to give our lives to Him. When I heard her getting close I looked up at her, and she reached over the few people sitting beside me, she took my hand, and said “I see you.” From that moment on I knew my life had changed. That night I told my family that I had opened my eyes. Jesus had opened my eyes.
I remember my senior year of high school, I was so on fire and excited about my walk with the Lord, I had a new found confidence, I felt awakened inside. I was in a church, that, at the time, was feeding my spirit, and my family and I were leading worship and helping with coffee houses, and ministries, and such. But, as life goes, that first Love, that first excitement and fire for Jesus doesn’t always stay so bright. As trials happen in life, and circumstances change, sometimes that First Love Fire that we have as baby Christians gets dimmer. We forget what it felt like, when our lives seemed brand new and we are filled with hope, excitement and promise of the future with Jesus.
For Christians who have walked with the Lord, 10, 20, 30, 50 years, and they never get back to that very first way of Loving the Lord. It is devastating because that is not how God intended us to live.
We are supposed to have that Very first, ten foot high flame, in our hearts for Jesus throughout our whole Journey, not just at the beginning of our walk with Christ. I am guilty of this too, I don’t always feel excited, and on fire with the spirit. I don’t always feel the hope and pure joy about the future that I had when I was first saved. I think this happens because Life circumstances and lies from the Enemy can really do a number on Christians sometimes. We allow ourselves to be consumed with the worries of life and our flesh starts to depend more and more on worldly securities- Rather than on the power of God, trusting in His complete control, and living by faith in our spirits.
I think losing our First Love like this is a trial that God puts all Christians through at some point in their walk. Jesus has to know that we can walk through life’s hardships and still be just as committed and just as faithful in our trust of God as we were in the beginning. We can’t forget how much Jesus loves us and how much God approves of us because of what Jesus has done. God told Jesus in Luke 3:22 that He was Well-pleased with Him. I still think about that verse often and use that to uplift my heart sometimes.
We don’t always feel pleasing to God, but our feelings don’t determine reality. It doesn’t change how God feels. We are accepted, we are pleasing to God, because when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. When God looks at us, He sees all that JESUS is, NOT what we are, NOT what we have done, NOT what we will do, But all that JESUS has done for us.
I often think about the day when I will stand before God, and I pray that God will look at me and say, “I am well pleased with you.” But sometimes, fear to comes into my heart and I think about my sins, my unworthiness, What would God say to me? And the enemy lies and says: you will never please God. But Praise God, I will not be looked at alone, Jesus stands in front of me! God IS pleased with me, despite how I feel about myself, and it’s not because of anything I could ever do to please Him. Because in and of myself, I will NEVER be pleasing enough but because I have a relationship with Jesus, because He said YES to loving me, He said YES to giving His life on the cross for me and for you, We can stand before God and He will see the sacrifice and Love of Christ.
He will see someone who said Yes to Loving His son; He will see the blood of Christ washed over us!
“God loves and sees the good in us. He sees what we are becoming and what we will be and He is not overly concerned about our faults, He knew all of them when He invited us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. All He wants is our love and willingness to grow in Him.” (Joyce Meyer)
We need to get back to that first love, so we can live each day unafraid and excited by the fire of God once again. Even God tells us to be careful of losing that first love in revelation:
Revelation 2:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 and [I know that] you [who believe] are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and that you have not grown weary [of being faithful to the truth]. 4 But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. 5 So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]; otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent.
“In Revelation 2, Jesus wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus. He commended them for many things. But he did have something against this church—that they had left their first love (Revelation 2:4). You see, the church in Ephesus had all the proper motions but lacked the proper emotion. They were about the work of ministry, but they lost their passionate "young love" for the Lord. As is always his way, Jesus is not content to let them stay where they are. So he encourages them to remember (the time when they were passionate), to repent (change their mind), and return (back to their first works again—that young love for God.) (Revelation 2:5).”
(taken from: http://www.preachingtoday.com/skills/2015/november/3-ways-to-keep-christmas-fresh.html)
“We forget sometimes that what Jesus wants most from us is First Love. He is our bridegroom, and we are His Bride. He is unabashedly passionate about us. He’s captivated with us. He thinks we’re beautiful. He yearns for us to love Him as passionately as He loves us.” (NIV Couples Devotional Bible written by Lee Eclov.)
Jesus just thinks we are so wonderful; He loves us passionately with all of His heart. We have to have that desire to love Jesus passionately with ALL of our hearts in return. More than we love anyone or anything else in this life!
Revelation tells us that the first thing we need to do to get back to our first love, is to realize that we don’t have that first love anymore. Or at least we don’t have as much of it as we once did. To Look back at the time when we were first saved and remember what our relationship with Jesus was like. Remember what your spirit and heart felt like.
Second we need to Confess that we have loosed that passion and fire for the lord and repent of our complacency, our contentment.
Finally, we need to start to do the things we did when we first got saved, to get that first love back; like being excited to go to church, being excited to read our bibles, to pray, and to worship. Get involved with our churches and maybe even have ideas about new ministries and then go start them. Letting our hearts be open completely to the will of God and make sure we are like little children before Him, Meaning we don’t think we know too much about the bible or about being a Christian, to learn new things, and to change our behaviors and be more like Christ every day.
I think one of the worse things a Christian can do is to stop thinking they need to change. God loves us exactly how we are right now, but He loves us too much to keep us this way. We can always, always, grow our relationship with Christ, and try to be more like him in our ways. There is no end to that! There is no end to our growth and walk with Christ. If we are like little children then we are open to constantly learning and being changed by the Holy Spirit!
I think if everyone in a church congregation would get back to our first Love, being excited and passionate about Jesus, we would see people in the community flocking into them, they would grow. Churches around the country would become alive again. Jesus is everything, He is the answer to everything in life. Everything that makes us who we are has to be because of Jesus! He has to be our rock, our foundation, for everything we do in life. If we make Jesus everything, then there is nothing we cannot do!
“First Love” by Chris Tomlin featuring Kim Walker-Smith