There are many things we do in our Christian lives, but they all pale in comparison to one central issue, which can be captured in the ultimate question:
Do we love Jesus?
In Revelation 2, Jesus spoke to the church at Ephesus. He applauded them for their “toil and perseverance” and their refusal to let evil men control their fellowship. These believers had perseverance and had endured for Christ’s name’s sake and had not grown weary (vv. 2–3 NASB). But then He adds one of the most arresting statements in the Bible:
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love (Revelation 2:4).
They had fallen out of love with Jesus.
A Vivid Illustration
If you are married, you realize this possibility. There are seasons where you are overwhelmed with love for your mate; but there are other times when you become consumed with busyness, or get irritated at each other’s faults, or begin to love yourself more than your mate. And your affection grows cold.
These are the dangerous moments in a marriage when you must decide if you will turn your attention afresh to your mate, rekindle the love you once had, and let the fires of love and passion burn again.
This turn will not occur with a casual attempt. It requires a deliberate, determined repentance from other directions, and a single-minded devotion to your beloved.
Our Heavenly Marriage
Our souls are made for love with the Divine, and if we are not passionate about Him, we will go, as one man said, “in silent search for other lovers.”
Do you sense this in your life or in your church’s life? There are so many GOOD things happening, but do you love Jesus? Are you so overwhelmed by Him that He is your first thought in the morning and your last thought at night?
Are your affections so strong that you cannot wait to talk with Him, so you carry on a conversation all day long? Do you love Him so much that you gladly do everything He says when He speaks?
Do you find yourself worshiping Him in spirit and truth? Do songs about Him move you?
Do you love Him as you once did?
If not, it is time to turn from every competing affection, and cry out with all you have that this love would be restored afresh—that you would fall in love with Jesus all over again.
Dear Jesus, forgive me for letting the love of other things seep into my soul. Forgive me for my love of myself—this self-centeredness so proud and vain that I want to satisfy my desires and fulfill my will instead of Yours.
Pull me back, dear Jesus. Help me to fall in love with You again. Open my eyes to see what has taken first place in my heart, and give me grace to throw it down with a vengeance, smashing every idol.
Flood my heart with fresh, fervent love for You. Let me enthrone You once again as the absolute Lord and Master of my heart. And give me a ruthless vigilance against every god—including and especially the god of self—that would seek to gain entrance to my heart.
Oh, Lover of my soul, restore to me the love I once knew, so that my life will give You all that is Your due and all that gives me life and joy and witness. Thrill me with Yourself, O matchless Savior, that I may delight in You alone!