FIRST LOVE - By Ps T L Mukumba (22-Nov-2020)

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

THEME: FIRST LOVE

Text:

Jeremiah. 2:2 “The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me and followed Me through the desert, through a land not sown.”’”


Revelation 2:2-7 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 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. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.


I. What is first Love

1. The love of Spousal engagement

2. The Love of a new convert


Practical Example of Spousal love similar to First Christian Love for a new convert: In general life when some is in the love the following activities happen. They:

- call her/him several times a day,

- send her/him flowers once a week,

- take her/him on a special date every Saturday,

- be sensitive to her/him unspoken needs and desires,

- always put her/him first,

- leave her/him little love notes, and

- let her/him know how special she was.


II. The necessity of keeping first love

1. Without it, dogma and service means nothing

2. It assists on the existence of a church, without it a church cannot exist (Rev 2:5)

3. Without love all is lost. Love glues things together


III. Signs of lost love are not necessarily by:

1. Lack of activity (Rev 2:2)

2. Lack of orthodoxy/dogma/practice/creed (Rev 2:2)

3. Lack of patience of Christ suffering (Rev 2:3), but they are shown by the absence of:

a. Joy in the activity for Christ

b. Unselfish and forgetfulness of self.

c. Personal love in service


IV. First love is lost:

1. By neglecting to maintain fellowship and communion with God, by read the word of God and prayer

2. By spiritual pride: Forgetting the unworthiness still at the time of conversion


V. How to regain Lost love


1. Remember you past experience, the atmosphere in which you once lived, etc

Rev. 2:5a: “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”

a) First, we must remember the intimacy we once had with the Lord, the closeness we once enjoyed, the fellowship we once experienced. It really was a glorious height, and the Lord is calling us back to that height. He is jealous for it too!

b) Second, we must recognize that the forsaking of our first love is actually a sin, the sign of backsliding in one way or another. And it is a sin that Jesus takes very seriously, actually warning the Ephesian believers that if they did not repent as a congregation, they would be no more: “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev. 2:5b). So, rather than blaming others or blaming circumstances, we should acknowledge our sins before the Lord, whatever those sins may be.

c) Third, we must “do the things we did at first.” This means there are practical things we can do to restore the intimacy – the things “we did at first.”


2. Repent, turn back, confess, promise reformation

Example: When first love is lost what does the husband need to do?

- He needs to do the things he did at first.

- He needs to re-ignite the romance and make an effort to renew and deepen the relationship.

- He needs to set aside quality time with his wife and for his wife, making her happiness his number one priority.

- He needs to let her know how important she still is to him and break away from his routine for her sake.

- He needs to love her again as his bride!


That’s exactly what we need to do with Jesus when our love turns cold.

- We need to renew the relationship! How?

- We set aside blocks of quality time to meet with Him, pouring out our hearts to Him

o in prayer, sharing our innermost thoughts and burdens.

o We lift our voices to Him in worship and adoration, singing the songs and hymns that have been so precious to us through the years,

o expressing our appreciation to Him with thanksgiving and praise.

- We saturate our minds and hearts with His Word, meditating on His truths,

o learning of Him, receiving from Him, growing in knowledge and grace.

- When we think back to the awe and wonder of those early days, and we seek to recapture that sense of divine nearness.

- Share our faith with those who don’t know the Lord.


3. Return to the first work over again

- According to Matthew Henry, believers who have left their first love “. . .

o must return and do their first works.

o They must as it were, begin again, go back step by step, till they come to the place where they took the first false step;

o they must endeavour to revive and recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and

o must pray as earnestly, and lastly

o watch as diligently, as they did when they first set out in the ways of God.”

- He becomes the reason for all we do, the center of our attention, the highest object of our affection. Then, all our good works – serving Him, sharing our faith, giving sacrificially – become expressions of love, the overflow of a heart enamored with the Master.

- That’s what it means to “do the things we did at first.”

- That’s what it means to return to the height from which we have fallen, to repent and return to our first love.

- God eagerly awaits our move back towards Him!

- He remembers what our relationship used to be like, and He expresses it in vivid terms as a mournful husband:

- just as we did in our first days in the Lord when He convicted us of sin and made us aware of our disobedience, we do the same things today as we return to our first love, dealing with sin ruthlessly, cutting it off rather than merely cutting it back.

- Does anything hold you back?

- Does anything stop you from renewing your relationship with the Lord?

- He has promised to draw near to those who draw near to Him (Jam 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”), and, as John Bunyan quaintly put it, when we take a step towards God He takes a step towards us, but His steps are larger than ours!


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