Returning to Our First Love

December 9, 2013

Returning to Our First Love


Revelations 2:4-5

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.


Love is a many splendored thing, but it can also be a place of vulnerability, heartache and disappointment.  So much depends on the care, attentiveness and tenderness with which we handle the most precious of gifts, one another’s hearts and their love.  

That first found love between two lovers those years back, it seemed so rich.  You loved one another’s presence and you didn’t want to be apart.  Your desire for one another was so strong and you bathed in the love that you had for one another.  Oh, that first love, how rich and full and sweet it was.  

Little by little small offenses began to enter in.  Sometimes unkind remarks were made that wounded your spouse’s soul, neglect, lack of communication, demands of life; so many things can tear at the foundations of your love.  

We begin to take for granted that first love, as we become more familiar with the other.  Those little things that we didn’t notice or didn’t seem to bother us now become a source of irritation and conflict.  Our hearts that were so warm and open begin to close as we often, without even knowing why, transform from that loving unity, to opponents and foes.  Little by little we can shut down in our emotions and our love to the point we forgot why we even liked this person, let alone loved them.  

We can often wander and drift away from our first love for Christ the same way.  Instead of being continually awed and thankful for all that Christ has done and continues to do for us, He becomes common, just another element of our lives and not the substance of them.  How blind we all can become to the hardness that can come over our hearts with regards to the ones we love and what we have held so dear.  Many of us have lost that which we once cherished more than life itself.

What has changed?  Is it them or is it us?  Maybe it is like our environment.  We love the beauty of the water and streams, the woods and forest, the mountains, oceans and wildlife, but if we have them before us every day we may take them for granted and lessen in our once great appreciation of them.  Somewhere in there our motives for gain, for what benefits us and for what we think will better our lives out weighs our appreciation for the other.  At the environment’s expense, we begin to deplete our forest, tear up our mountains, pollute our waters and destroy what we once held so dear.  It is the same thing that we do to our marriages and our relationships.  

We lose sight that our spouse is our teammate that we are dependent upon one another to make life easier and sweeter.  Yet we are so blind at how the enemy of our soul comes into to kill, steal and destroy what was the most precious thing in our lives.  Our unity is destroyed and our marriages turn from bliss to ashes.  Isn’t it because we have bought into the lie?  When one of us in our marriage loses we both lose.  There are no winners and losers, because we are a team. A house divided against itself cannot stand.  

The older my wife and I grow together, the more dependent we are on each other to remember things, to help each other, and to be the strength in the other’s weakness.  On the other hand there is the temptation to find more fault with the other’s shortcomings, especially when they have chided you for yours.  We have to realize that we are a team. We need each other more than ever.  Love cannot become a selfish thing that only looks out for itself. If it has and is becoming that then it has left the boundaries and definition of love.  The nature of love is to serve, to give and bless another.  Love always exalts the other above itself.

Perhaps it is time for many of us to remember and to return to our first love both in our physical and spiritual relationships.  It is time to give the precious gifts of our humility, our forgiveness and our first love.  It is time to make a safe place where we can come together, not to find fault or blame, but to find reconciliation and healing for our hearts and our relationships. Isn’t this what God wants for us?  I believe He will help in this endeavor if we call upon Him and His love to fill our hearts.  Let us cherish and once again hold with such tenderness and sanctity the gift of one another’s hearts and love.  In the same way let us recommit to our first love for Christ and find the first passion that so consumed our soul.

 

Blessings,

kent

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Key to the Treasure

December 28, 2012

Isaiah 33:5-6
The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
6He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Key to the Treasure

It is important for us in this time to know the difference between religion and relationship. Religion carries with it a knowledge of God, an exercise or expression of ceremonial worship, but it is evident that this not acceptable to God if our hearts are not right and our spirit in tune with His. Religion can know about God, His salvation, His power to save, but it doesn’t move God if the heart of the people doesn’t line up with the pursuit of God’s heart in their obedience and faithfulness.
Jeremiah 14:7-10 is a good example. Here Jeremiah cries out to God for His people, but hear God’s answer. “Although our sins testify against us, O Lord, do something for the sake of your name.
For our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you. 😯 Hope of Israel, its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only a night?
9Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save?
You are among us, O Lord, and we bear your name; do not forsake us!
10This is what the Lord says about this people:
“They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them;
he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.”
When we are powerless and it doesn’t seem like God is showing up, the first thing we want to check is, are we lining up with God’s Word, walking in His principles and ways, living in obedience and pursuit of His highest for our lives. Much of our impotence and the absence of God’s power from our lives may have to do with an outward expression of religion, but our lives aren’t lining up with our confession and outward expression. Perhaps we have been seeking to please God with our outward works and religious expressions rather than communing with Him consistently within our hearts and honoring Him by our fear, reverence, obedience and faithfulness.
Look again at Isaiah 33:5-6. Look at the results when we align our hearts with His. When we exalt Him with a right heart and attitude in Spirit and in truth then, “The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” The key to the treasure of God’s heart is our relationship with Him. When we pursue Him in honesty and whole heartedness then we are fearing and reverencing Him. He is center of all that we are and all that we do. He is exalted in all that we are blessed with and to Him goes all of the glory. He will be all that He has promised to be when we are living what He has called us to be.
Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that mere religious acts can appease the Father. He doesn’t want our lip service, He wants our hearts. If we feign to live godly and yet do not restrain our feet to wander, do we have a right to expect God to honor us with His great salvation and deliverance in our time of need? If we love Him we will keep His commands and walk in them. Then we well experience the rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge, because the “FEAR” of the Lord is the “KEY” to this treasure

Blessings,
kent

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