O Christian, do you remember what it was like when you first fell in love with Jesus?
Are you even more infatuated with Him now than you were at first, or is that a place from which you have drifted?
In the early chapters of the book of Revelation, which sits at the end of the New Testament, Jesus is speaking to those who believed in Him and gathered in His name. He commends them to some degree, but for those most part finds them inadequate. Consequently, He chastises them frequently and severely. His very first admonishment was to a group He otherwise found praiseworthy. That is, He pointed out that they practiced good deeds, persevered under trial, did not tolerate hypocrites, and endured persecution for His name without becoming weary about it. His problem with them was that they had “left their first love.”
Has your faith become similarly de-personalized? Has your Christianity had Jesus removed from it?
God had always hoped for a personal relationship with each human being – an intensely personal relationship. He took upon Himself flesh and lived as one of us for this very purpose. That God actually became a man in Jesus of Nazareth undeniably demonstrates that God is personal and not ethereal. That God could exist in human form is powerful proof that indeed we are made in the image of God. That God could and would subject Himself for a time to all our limitations clearly reveals that God is knowable and not unknowable.
If you have found yourself doing all the things Christians normally do…but not experiencing the daily love of Jesus, then you have left your first love. If you come to realize that you are going through the right motions…but not feeling a love and a passion for the One and Only, you have left your first love. If you sense that no one can find fault with your Christian walk…but there’s little abiding joy in your soul, then you have left your first love.
There is only one antidote to this condition, and Jesus gave it: “Repent, and do the things you did at first.”
In any romance, the relationship can soon become cluttered with all sorts of extraneous practices, opinions, discussions, and attitudes. What has cluttered your relationship with Jesus and clouded your vision of Him?
Don’t be afraid to put away what distracts you from Him. There are many religious practices in modern-day Christianity that have little or nothing to do with learning about Jesus, serving Him, and enjoying Him. Church programs continue to abound, and for people of all ages. How much of that, however, reveals the One you want and need to know more intimately? He Himself – the Person – is the beginning and end of the true Christian life. What draws you to Him is good; what pulls you any other direction is bad. It’s that simple.
Do whatever you have to do to regain precious intimacy with the One who sacrificed Himself for you. Most of all, be quiet enough to listen to Him. People in love always listen to each other.