Greg Stokley | @GregStokley
Ever been in love? Maybe you have a spouse or a significant other that you are just crazy for. Yet, as we all know, sometimes we lose sight of some things.
I remember when I first started dating my fiancée. It didn't matter what time I had to get up the next morning. I would drive to her house for no other reason than to be with her. I wanted nothing more than to stay with her. Nothing else than to be where she was.
Admittedly, as life went on, I let some of that excitement go. For some, it's just busyness. For others, it's something far worse.
We find in Scripture that our love for Christ is no different. Yet, there is something I would like to point out: the consequences of losing our first love for Christ are more dire than loss of love for another person.
Consider Christ's words to the Ephesian church in Revelation:
"I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent." - Revelation 2:2-5
As you can see, Christ takes love for him and his people VERY seriously. So much so that he tell the Ephesians that their status as his church would be removed if they did not repent and, essentially, go back to the beginning. Even though they had great works and were very faithful, Christ still rebuked them for lack of love, specifically their first love.
What have you allowed to get in the way? It happens to everyone. Whether it's work, school, family, friends, or even church, something always comes up and slowly but surely erodes the incredible passion and love we had for Christ when we first met him. How do we prevent this? We reorient and refocus. Make Christ that number one priority. That's what's he wants. That's what he deserves.
If you have found you self in this position, I urge you to heed the words of Christ: repent and do what you did at first. Maybe you're not there yet but you know the threat of a stale relationship with Christ is looming. To you, I issue the same charge: repent, return, refocus.
Christ NEVER leaves us in dire straits. There's always a way out. Take heart in knowing that even when we forget him, he cares for us enough to warn us that it's time to get back on track.
Always make Christ first in your life. No matter what. This is what Christians are called to. And in this there is always fullness of joy. Not happiness, which comes and goes, but joy that is sustainable and remains even in the bleakest of moments. He started a work in you and he will finish it. So let's refocus on him as he works on us.
Let's return to our first love.
Greg Stokley is a ginger from southern Alabama. He loves reading, writing, but not arithmetic. He serves in youth, college, teaching, and preaching ministries. An amateur theologian, he's not afraid to point out bad doctrine, with love of course. He also writes at his own blog, To Be Prophets and Priests. You can contact Greg on Twitter at @gregstokley or at his email firstname.lastname@example.org.