"I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don't tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don't love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first." (Revelation 2:2-5, NLT)
This is the ever present challenge for those in ministry. For those who work hard to serve the Lord; those who refuse to quit and those who live by God's Word…we must keep the light of our first love burning brightly!
If we are not careful we can get so engaged serving the Lord…we forget to love the Lord. We can find ourselves loving the ministry, the people and the fruit we see…but not loving the Lord. We are so busy, we have no time left to spend with the Lord in prayer and devotion to Him. I know…I've been there!
What are we to do? Return and do the first works.
What was it like when you first came to know the Lord? What "works" did you do then? Return to that place. I remember when I first became a Christian...I would stay up late reading my Bible, praying and writing in my journal. I would listen to Christian albums over and over and over. I went on "dates" with the Lord and enjoyed His company, pouring out my heart to Him. When I need to return to my first love, I do those things again more intentionally.
In various seasons of my life, I have pictured my walk with the Lord like a dining room table. At the dining table of my heart there is one seat reserved for Jesus alone. As my first love, He gets to sit at the head seat of the table of my heart. As much as I love my husband, my kids and the people the Lord has put in my life, I don't want anyone else or anything else to take His place in my heart.
How about you? Who or what is sitting at the head seat of the table of your heart? Does your first love need to be relit? How long has it been since you've told Jesus how much you love Him? Think about the days when you first knew the Lord and return and do those works once again!
Say It: “Father, I love You. Jesus, You are my Lord, Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Light and First Love! You have been so good to me. I don't want to be so busy with my life or serving You that I leave my first love. I want You to know that You will always have the head seat at the table of my heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen."