The main difference between the Christian of the First Century, and the Twentieth Century, is their love life! The love of the first century Christian was supremely focused on the Saviour of this world. Yet, the love of the Christian today seems only on the world: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves,... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2Timothy 3:1-4). This just happens to be the very reason why Jesus Christ feels sick about His own children in Revelation 3:16! But why are Christians so in love with themselves, with their abilities, and with their possessions, and yet so out of step with their Lord? It all relates to what happened to their first love.
The reason why any person gets saved is because they come to fear an all holy God who loved them enough to let His Son die in their place so that they could be forgiven! To accept what Jesus Christ did on the cross without any emotion is just not possible! A person may not fully understand the crucifixion, but they can appreciate what they do understand! If salvation has no resulting emotion, then why are Christians rebuked in Revelation 2:4 for leaving their first LOVE? Salvation is not just an decision of the mind, but a heart belief that cries out to the Saviour for forgiveness from eternal damnation, all because of the love of the Saviour! Romans 10:9 & 10 states "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
The steps of salvation are as follows:
1. A person learns they are separated from God by their sins (Isaiah 59:2)
2. They learn God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to the cross in their place, for their sins (1Corinthians 15:3)
3. The sinner discovers that God Himself took their punishment undeservingly, out of sincere love for them
4. The sinner's heart either hardens in pride and rejection at this news, or softens in shame and surrender
5. At the moment that the sinner surrenders, and cries out to such a Saviour, asking Him, and Him alone to save them, the love of God is spread abroad in their heart (Romans 5:5), and their sins are washed away, and true peace between them, and their God begins to reign (Romans 5:1), and angels shout for joy (Luke 15:10)!
But, if the heart is not active at salvation; if love is not in motion; if Jesus is just an after-thought, then true repentance never happened, and Christ was only a religious fact you filed away - and salvation never occurred! The biggest reason why Christians don't have any love for God, is because they never received love from God! They may never have got saved!
What is Our "First Love?"
Before someone meets the Lord Jesus, they never know what true, lasting, and satisfying love is - they only sing and talk about "lost" love, "dream" love, and the lack of love. But it is only the Christian who discovers that "love is of God" (1 John 4:7)! A Christian's first love is not a thing, but a Person, named Jesus!
At salvation, such a sinless God and such a sinful human are brought together simply because of the sacrifice of Jesus. The love of God that flowed from Mount Calvary, freely begins to flow through the heart and life of the new-born Christian! And it compels the Christian to pray, and to be reading their Bible, and to witness to others of God's free gift in Christ!
Easy to Let "Slip"
Our love for the Lord can be forgotten so easily - but that is no excuse. It is not true that someone or something can come along and steal away our love - we leave it somewhere. So many people and things want first place in our hearts - but only Jesus deserves that position! We get distracted by the deceitfulness of sin, and then rush off to fulfill our own desires, leaving behind that Person who should be our best Friend. If we treated our wife or husband the way that we treat the Lord, we would be flattened with a skillet, or find ourselves very alone. People don't put up with such treatment - why do we think God will?
The Need to Repent
So what does a Christian do, whose love life toward Jesus Christ has become shallow? Jesus Himself said that we Christians are to "be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev 3:19)! Be quick to realize that we are sinning against our Saviour, and hurting Him dearly when we have something more important in our lives than Him! God is "jealous" of us having any other "god" more important to us than Him - "Thou shalt not make thee any graven image... Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God" (Dt 5:8,9)! Our attitude then must be to change our focus from the world, back to the Lord, and do whatever it takes to make our relationship with God right again!
Keeping Your Love for Jesus FIRST
To do this requires effort and commitment! NO amount of effort can earn our salvation - that was a free gift. But once a person is saved, their life is to be full of works to bless and serve their Lord! That includes keeping away from things that ruin our fellowship with Jesus Christ. And, that effort includes making the time for daily prayer, and the learning of His precious words! If we wait until the last minute to pray, and wait to live for the Lord until we are old, then God has been demoted, and we are the most miserable kind of creature! But if we would just be faithful doers of God's word (obedient), we would not be able to contain the love that would flow from our lives (1 Peter 1:22)! Remember, the source of our love is God Himself!
Spend time with that Source TODAY! &