How sweet it is to remember the very first time that we have come to know God’s love. The love of God has brought us from great darkness into a marvelous light from rational condemnation to total absolution.
True love has it, that He gave his Son to save us from punishment because of our sins. God’s love filled our hearts with great joy and contentment. In return, the very moment that His love struck our hearts, we simply cannot resist the power it has brought us.
First love they say has its vibrant energy to a lover. That first love has inspired and motivated us to do wholeheartedly the will of God. Ardent, earnest, self-sacrificing it makes our Godly duties supremely delightful, and it fill our hearts with joy in God all the day long.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me…” – John 14:21
We, as children of God who had experienced His love, it is natural for us to do the things that pleases Him. On the contrary, those who had not received and accepted His love, it is normal for them to do things that are not pleasing to Him. The one who loves God sincerely worship and praise Him.Doing things for Him has a sweet attraction in our hearts and come with a rich relish to our soul. Again, nothing that God requires seems hard or grievous.
No matter what it may be, “the yoke is easy and the burden is light.” The love inside us makes our willing feet to move in swift obedience. Often we say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Even the burdens that pertain to the Christian life do not at all abate our interest in serving Him. We take up these labors as part of our business in life. We feel no sense of burden in doing those things but instead divine peace fills our soul. No form of doubt to His divine promises will linger in our hearts that could in someway topple them.
One of the tragic things that a believer could encounter is to have his love for God falling in some degree, worse is by losing it. Even we defy the thought of leaving away our high-spirited Christian life; to deny that many could be caught in the mire of staleness is not viable. It is really a pity to learn that many disciples have left their first love.
Nevertheless, it is not easy to recognize them from the flock of fellow believers when we see all are sitting in the church pews. Those who have left their first love began to talk about the burdens and weariness in their service. If other considerations besides love to God are requisite to sustain the Christian life, and even to keep their outward observance of its forms, then you may be sure that first love is gone.
The indication of the loss of that “first love” is by a sense of bondage. When one performs his Christian duties, not from any sense of love, but of bondage to conscience, surely that “first love” is gone.
The state into which some fall is of hypocrisy. The word may be shrewd of course but it really describes this state. This must be the case unless they (we) have become openly impenitent. However, the passage gives no hint of this. Of course, we must conclude that they retain the forms of godliness without its power. This is real hypocrisy. It is a state utterly odious to God. He who makes no pretensions is odious enough; but one who makes professions and yet pretentious, is much more so. Such is tragic!
It is, moreover, a state of delusion, for we keep up the notion that we are still accepted of God. We are so hardened as not to see that we are the victims of the most fearful delusion. Let a man practice prayer without any heart in it, and who does not know that this course benumbs the conscience and kills the moral sensibility? Trace the history of such a man’s praying.
The first time he prayed, prayer filled his soul with awe. Usually those who have not been accustomed to prayer, experience this impression of awe and reverence but a moderately long period of observance of the mere forms of prayer, kills this solemn impression, and he can pray as coldly unconcerned as if he had no heart.
Prayer makes no impression on him. Nothing seems to touch him. This keeping up the forms of Christianity in a heartless way is playing a game with ourselves in which the interests of the soul are fearfully the loser. We win nothing!
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” – Revelation 2:5
Each one who had received the grace from God must be on-guard to keep the flame of love burning in its heart. If unfortunately, someone has gotten a cold heart and a beaten spirit, repent more deeply than ever before, for now we have new and more aggravated sins to be repented of. For after being so far enlightened, and after having tasted the good word of God and his precious love after having known God and Christ as revealed in the Gospel, and after having entered into covenant with God then to violate this sacred covenant to disown those solemn vows – for all this, there can be no remedy for us that turned away from our walk with the Lord.
To be able to come to true repentance we must leave behind whatever holds us from doing what we ought to do for His name’s sake. See how clear Apostle Paul discloses the way we can move on in our faith to learn to forgive ourselves of all our misgivings and shortcomings and get geared-up once more for the greatest race of our lives.
“…I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” – Philippians 3:13“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great as cloud witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”– Hebrews 12:1
Nevertheless, may we be reminded that to run is to endure all the conditions of the trail. The heart of the champion that started the competition must be the same heart that will come to the finish line not worn out but ever vigorous and spirited.
Christ is coming soon. Let us be found so doing with urgency and faithfulness the things that He had entrusted us. May the continuing grace of God abound in us as we humbly keep and do His will. Let us keep our “first love” alive. As we eagerly await the return of our Lord, let His love remain firm in our hearts.