I heard a sermon on Wednesday that challenged me and, if I choose to let it, will change me. Geordie Mumby shared these words from Jesus in the book of Revelation:
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place."
Jesus first tells the church of Ephesus they are doing well and encourages them. However, he quickly reminds them that they have forsaken their first love, their first passion for Jesus. He tells them if they don't repent and do what they did at the beginning, He will remove their lamp stand, or in other words, their position with God. Jesus is very serious about us keeping our first love.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my first love. I started to fall back into self-reliance, viewing the pleasure of serving Jesus as work, overwhelming and "too much." This just leads you down the path of selfishness, offense and envy. I know, because that's where I ended up. When you lose the reason you do what you do every day and you're no longer anchored in love, then it just becomes a burden.
I don't want that in my life anymore. I feel like my path and my vision were shifted. Geordie's sermon gave me a good dose of reality.
When I first started dating my husband, our relationship was based on feelings. I loved to serve him, cook for him, be with him. We got married and it was exciting and new, full of passion and wonder, and the horizon was bright. Three years into marriage, with a baby added to the family, not much has changed, except we have become more comfortable with each other. There are plenty of days when I don't always want to serve him or cook, but that's where my choices come in. I made a promise on our wedding day to love my husband all the days of my life, not just when it feels exciting, new and fun. I didn't promise to show him love only when I felt like it. That would awful for him, the poor guy would hardly know I loved him.
Love is a choice and a marriage should be built on many selfless choices of pursuing, surprising, listening, serving, both when we feel those emotions and when we don't.
Our relationship with Jesus, our first love, shouldn't be any different. When you first meet him and it's new and exciting and always an adventure, you want to shout from the roof tops and tell everyone you know WHAT HE DID FOR YOU! You are passionate and emotionally connected to Jesus, your savior. As time passes and life goes up and down, those emotions that once drove you start to diminish and fade. Then it comes down to many choices daily to follow him, choose him, pursue him, tell others about him.
Have you, like me, stopped choosing to pursue Jesus? Have you given in to self-reliance, independence, and apathy due to circumstances, choices, trauma or just plain lack of "feeling" like you want to?
Let's get back to our first love. Let's get back to making those selfless choices to keep our love flowing for the greatest creator, savior, giver, and love this life has to offer. He has given it all for me. He has pursued me. Yet I allowed life to go by and my love to dry up. No more! From now on, I'm going after him.