First Love

<<greatest affection>>

Because of the salvation from sin’s penalty we should love God continually with all our being (Mk 12:30). However, if you have been a Christian for a period probably you have experienced a time when the ‘honeymoon’ with Jesus has lost its lustre, and there has come a comparative coldness of heart, a losing of your first love. The church in Ephesus was praised for their works, labour, patience and perseverance, yet reprimanded “that you have left your first love” (Rev 2:1-4). They had lost the zeal and passion with which they had embraced their salvation, and they began to 'go through the motions' – the mechanical rituals rather than being motivated by the love of and for Christ. Jesus had warned, “The love of many [for God] will grow cold” (Mt 24:12). When that happens something else will take the place He is to have (Ex 20:3).

A new Christian typically experiences an exciting ‘first love’ for truth, then spiritual battles take their toll and the initial enthusiasm diminishes. If this has happened the focus should be how to recapture our ‘first love’ for God – “Remember...repent and do the first works” (Rev 2:5). They were urged to thoughtfully compare their current level of love with

How would I describe my present love for God?

their former and then take the necessary actions to remedy this. After David had drifted away from God, he repented and fervently prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your glorious Spirit” (Ps 51:12). If we truly hunger and thirst after Him and His ways by actively seeking God we will find Him (Jer 29:13; Mt 5:6, 7:7,8; Jas 4:8). Besides repentance, we do this by diligently studying the Scriptures and praying. This must be backed up by obedience.

It is important to meet with other believers to encourage and be encouraged in the faith and be involved in good works (Heb 10:24,25).

See also: enthusiasm, first, idol/idolatry, ritual, wander.