“Unless we put our love for Him (Jesus) in first place where it belongs, nothing else we do for Him really matters.” – Charles Stanley
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works” (Revelation 2:4-5)
Who is your first love?
How can others tell?
During the worship service at Soul Purpose Church on Sunday morning February 10, Mike Webb shared Jesus’ 3 R’s for Valentine’s Day. Those really hit home for me. Here they are:
1) Remember from where you have fallen
2) Repent of your wrong attitudes
3) Redo the first works
While preparing today’s devotional, I came across this outstanding excerpt from the foreword of Tony Evan’s e-book “Returning to Your First Love”:
If the Lord Jesus Christ were to come to your house or mine and sit down with us, what do you think He would say? I believe one of the first things He would ask is, “Do you love Me?” That’s the question the resurrected Christ asked Simon Peter three times at their seaside breakfast (John 21:15-17). Peter had denied the Lord at His crucifixion, and he needed to be restored.
Jesus undertook that restoration by bringing Simon back to the basic issue: “Do you love Me?” The Savior wasn’t satisfied until He had zeroed in on the issue of Peter’s love for Him and gotten the right answer. Only then did Jesus release Peter for ministry: “Feed My sheep.”
The lesson Jesus taught Peter – and the lesson the Holy Spirit wants to teach us – in this marvelous passage is the fundamental lesson that devotion precedes duty. One reason this is important is that we so often get the order reversed.
If we had been in Jesus? place that day by the seashore, most of us would have asked Simon Peter an entirely different set of questions. We probably would have asked him if he was truly sorry for what he did in denying Christ, and if he had confessed his sin and been forgiven.
Or we might have started off by asking Peter if he was still serious about being a disciple, if he still wanted to be a member of the team. The more devotionally minded among us would have quizzed Peter about his personal life, making sure he was spending time daily in prayer and study of the Scriptures.
And the service minded among us would probably have made sure Peter knew what his spiritual gifts were and was plugged into a ministry in which he was exercising those gifts.
But Jesus did not ask Peter about any of these things. Did Jesus not care about Peter’s spiritual condition and future service? Of course He did. But Jesus knew that unless Peter’s service was motivated by intense love for Him, it would lead to duty without devotion, practice without passion.
That’s also true for you and me, by the way. Our love for Christ is so foundational that Jesus Himself called it our “first love” in Revelation 2:4.
Jesus, thank You for dying for me and forgiving all my sins. Thank You for delivering me from a messed up life. May I never forget my first love. To You be all glory, honor, and praise, now and forever. Amen.
Link of the Day
Returning To Your First Love – Foreword and Chapter 1
Blessings to remember, repent, and redo for Jesus’ sake!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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