Gods Call Back – 1st Love 101

Gods Call Bacl - 1st Love 101

I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love Revelation 2:4

I was on the train yesterday (Thursday 2nd May 2019) travelling from Maidstone to London Victoria and my mind and heart was flooded with the following thoughts and I trust that they will bless, inspire and encourage you.

  • Life is hard, no doubt about that.
  • Life is complicated, no doubt about that.
  • Life is full of surprises, again no doubt about that.

The challenge however is “How do we react to the ever-changing scenery of our daily living and journey of faith?” The bible tells us to reflect on our lives in light of those that have gone before us – “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” – “Hebrews 13:7” – “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.” – Deuteronomy 32:7” Why? Because in doing so we are encouraged by their wholehearted allegiance to God, their patient endurance and the incredible expression of God’s grace at work.

We all have plans, no problem there (even though) this world is not our home, and we are simply strangers and pilgrims, we are as Gods children the worlds displaced persons – “Hebrews 11:13” tells us “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. We know and its worth reminding ourselves from time to time that we are only passing through this life. It’s only a stop along the way. 

How do those who love the Lord appear? Those who truly love and follow Him do not live like others. 

  • They talk different. 
  • They think different.
  • Their dreams are different. 
  • Their lifestyle is different. 
  • Their priorities are different. 

The choice of where to live, what career to pursue, how to invest their time, who to marry, what kind of commitments to make, how to educate their children, and the view of suffering are all outside of the mainstream – really Foreigners and Non-Cultural – in all honesty their whole perspective is similar to that of a foreign culture. 

Jesus said concerning His disciples in “John 17:16” – “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”  The children of God are no longer (should not be) at home in this world.  They are looking for an eternal home with their Heavenly Father: “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland…But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.” – “Hebrews 11:14 & 16” 

What happened when we were brought into the Kingdom of God and were given new life? We were: –

  • Given a new identity.
  • Given a heavenly family.
  • Given a heavenly home.
  • Given a position of an heir to a heavenly inheritance.
  • Given heavenly citizenship to heavenly country and found a new Capital City. 

The Child of God rather than feeling as though they are missing out on this life, have joy and peace in their heart. They are living the reality of “Psalm 84:5” – “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

Or am I speaking of something bizarre and unintelligible? You see, we plan:

  • Our lives as if we are here forever.
  • We plan our families as if we are here forever.
  • We plan our futures as if we are here for ever. We plan our careers as if we are here for ever.
  • It’s even possible for those who are in ministry for Christ to plan our ministries as a career ahead of us instead of recognising them to be the gift of a vocation.

I have hanging over my bed a picture and it states, “Life is a journey not a destination” and thus it behoves us as we reflect and consider what our spiritual health is like. In 2 Samuel 20:9it say’s Art thou in health, my brother?”.

The Church is not a Building but a living organism which is comprised of those Born Again into the Family of God having received the Faith to Believe out of the phenomenal grace of God. We are in light of that “collectively and individually” responsible for each other. This will include the upholding of those things that our Master has entrusted to us. BUT exceeding all those things (and there are many) one thing is an imperative and is NO 1 and it is that our 1st Love is maintained – That’s where the challenge of Art thou in health, my brother?really comes into play and it is this above all our activities and the work for Jesus we may be engaged in that Jesus is really concerned about.

The Church at Ephesus recognised: –

  • Life was hard, no doubt about that.
  • Life was complicated, no doubt about that.
  • Life was full of surprises, again no doubt about that.

The Church at Ephesus rejoiced in that they had been: –

  • Given a new identity.
  • Given a heavenly family.
  • Given a heavenly home.
  • Given a position of an heir to a heavenly inheritance.
  • Given heavenly citizenship to heavenly country and found a new Capital City. 

The Church at Ephesus was characterised by their: –

  • Different Speech. 
  • Different ways of Thinking.
  • Different Dreams. 
  • Different Lifestyle. 
  • Different Priorities. 

They maintained all the above whilst living in a City with a massive statue erected to the goddess Diana. It was a City considered to be one of the wonders of the world inviting many Pilgrims in the same way as the Vatican in Rome does. The City was rife with prostitute priestesses and was well known for its constant orgies, drunkenness, cultic worship and overall licentiousness. Our day and generation (although more sophisticated, modern and perhaps intellectual) is really no different. We even have in Trafalgar Square as a tourist attraction the Entrance Gateway to the Temple of Baal erected – to our Countries shame.

We like the Ephesian Brothers and Sisters are called to live out lives marked with – Faithfulness, Obedience, Generosity of Heart and Compliant to Truth – BUT and let me say BUT again all of this is worthless to Jesus if the exuberance of 1st Love is not the DNA flowing through the midst of it all.

The Ephesian Brothers and Sisters – Worked Hard, they bore with patience the hardships and persecution that being a follower of Jesus encompassed, they despised the filthy conversation all around about them and they hated (along with Jesus) the Nicolaitans who preached sexual immorality and ate food sacrificed to false gods of whom Clement of Alexandria said “They abandon themselves to pleasure like goats leading a life of self-indulgence.”

The Ephesian Church was undoubtedly orthodox in its outward and inward expression – What is orthodoxy? Its defined as “Orthodoxy (from Greek ὀρθοδοξία orthodoxía “right opinion”) is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense the term means “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church.” They were certainly all of that in their journey, but the orthodoxy left them “dead inside” when it came to a 1st Love and discipleship. Without the impetus of 1st Love all we do is simply “Dead Works”. In Psalm 40:6we read Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not requirethe Message puts it this way – “Doing something for you, bringing something to you, that’s not what you’re after. Being religious, acting pious, that’s not what you’re asking for.

  • Hip, Hip Hooray, Clapping of Hands and Pat’s on the Back all around – But, and how powerful and searching that little word is in the midst of all this the words came ringing forth – “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” “Revelation 2:4”

Its good to think back sometimes and to remember “Who we were and where we came from and where are now”. That excitement, exuberance, passion, can’t do enough desire for Jesus. Like being naturally in love for that 1st time when the “Days are Brighter, the Birds Sing Sweeter, when the Words of your Beloved are like Honey on the Lips” – That’s what Jesus is talking about. The bedrock love will always carry us along, but how impoverished Jesus sees us without the 1st Love.

Let me encourage you to embrace Him once more

and if He says

Let’s be the first to our knees.

God Bless you in your journey today with Jesus

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