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First Love Matters

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Rev. 2:2-5 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and had patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. ’

The first letter written by Jesus and sent through John was addressed to Ephesus. Ephesus was once a thriving church that God had poured His Spirit in and through on many occasions. They were known for their perseverance and patience. They were known to labor for the cause of Christ and walk in great discernment. They were a church that not only walked in pursuit of righteousness but promoted it for all to see. What in the world happened to this once vibrant church?

Simply put, they lost their first love. Undoubtedly, they got sidetracked.

They got sidetracked with life, religion, and shallow pursuits and, in doing so, forgot their very reason for existing. Before we judge them too severely, we might want to check our hearts and pursuits. It’s much easier than one would think to get off course. Most of us have done it a time or two ourselves. We start off running the race with Jesus and lose our way. We, too, can get sidetracked from walking in kingdom purposes. Notice that John did not say that they now hated the Father, he said they had lost their first love. Jesus was no longer first on their list of things to do. That’s the way the enemy often works to destroy us. He doesn’t necessarily try to disavow our love for the Father; he wants us to not let it be our “first love.” The warning of Revelation 2 to Ephesus is clear, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent.” This is a simple solution to a life-altering problem. He wants us to see where we are and get back to our first pursuit, a “first love” pursuit of Jesus Christ.

Posted by Mike Devine with

Known

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God doesn’t just know about you. He knows you...like really, really knows you. Psalm 139 says that God saw who He created you to be before you ever became you! Here’s what I want you to grasp: God didn’t simply know of you before you were born, He knew you!

He knew that Brooke would be a 5’9” female with blue eyes and tan skin. He took His time, patiently forming me in my mother’s womb. Ephesians 1 says that thousands and thousands of years ago, before God said, “Let there be light,” He knew me and loved me. He planned for me to be born to a young couple from Lincolnton, NC in October of 1982. Yes, God created a master plan for my life, placed dreams in my heart, then formed skin around that amazing plan. He has things that are meant for me to accomplish in my lifetime. He then created a longing inside of me to know Him, my Creator. 

The enemy knows this! His plan is the complete opposite of God’s! He wants to destroy me, to kill my dreams, and my destiny. He hates Brooke Caldwell and he wants nothing more than to see me destroyed. And my friend, I’m sad to say, the same goes for you. He’ll whisper lies that you don’t have a reason to live, you’re life is meaningless. Nobody likes you. People don’t listen to you. You’re ugly. You’re dumb. But I’m here to declare over you right now that the enemy is a liar and I break his lies off of you in Jesus' Name! By the power of the blood of Jesus, say this, “Devil, I rebuke and resist you. You have no right to speak to me. I am created ON purpose and FOR a purpose! God is my Father. I am His child. And you must flee.”

Amen! :raised_hands::skin-tone-2: (praise break!)

My beautiful and amazing friend, God has something incredible planned for your life. He’s already decided that He loves you and that He wants you to be His child. His heart for you is that you would be blessed, healthy, whole, and happy. Everything you’ll ever need for life is accessible to you, through Him. You are created for a meaningful life of influence and favor, joy and peace, victory on top of more victories! You have a vital role to play in your time on earth...Extremely vital!

When I go to work with Steven, I’ll ask him to give me detailed instructions on how I can help him. Because I want to know what’s expected of me. I actually love to work, but I don’t like it when I’m at a job and have no clue what’s going on or what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m literally just standing there, with no clue as to what I should be doing. 

Don’t live your life like that!

God has instructions and details on the purpose and plan for your life. The reason I can say, “You are created for a meaningful life of influence and favor, joy and peace, victory on top of other victories,” is because I know that’s in His Word. When you can see these truths for yourself in the Bible and then learn to hear the voice of God personally, you will be convinced that this isn’t just me encouraging you with kind sentiments, but rather I’m speaking over you literal truth; no gray area but black and white Truth!

You see, God knows what’s best for you, and as INCREDIBLE as His plans for you are, He won’t force His plans on you. I’ll say it as my Sunday School teacher says, “He allows what we allow.” That’s a short, shocking statement that simply means God will honor your free will. Just think about it: 

Would you like for Jesus to be your Savior? It’s your choice! Salvation is available to you, but He won’t force Jesus into your life. 

Do you want to walk in blessings? It’s your choice! God’s promises are available, but He won’t force you to receive His blessings.

What about a life of purpose, favor, joy, peace, and fulfillment? It’s your choice! Yes, all of these are more promises that are available to you too...free of charge!

Do you want to live a life of boldness and power, accompanying the Gospel message with signs and wonders? Again, that’s your choice! Holy Spirit power is available to all of God’s children!

What are you’re goals? 
What are your dreams? 
What has God called to do? 

ALL of God’s promises are Yes and Amen over you!

Do it!
Go for it!
Dream bigger!
Take that first step of faith and watch God come meet you!

Who cares if you fail? At least you tried! And either way, you’ll get closer to the God who created you and loves you. If you fail, that’s alright, you are closer to discerning His voice from yours. If you succeed, you succeed! But either way, you get closer to God and you’re doing all you can do to find His will for your life and accomplish it! Your willingness to try, to step out, to go for it, makes Him so happy!

My prayer for you today is that you wouldn’t waste another moment of your life in passiveness and fear: Fear of failure, fear of men’s opinions, fear of inadequacy. But rather, you would see yourself through the eyes of your loving Creator and see the masterpiece you really are and the incredible, powerful plans you were created for!

Would you take time to meditate on Psalm 139:

“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. 

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. 

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness, you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. 

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. 

You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me was already recorded in your book. Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:1-6, 10, 13-18‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Posted by Brooke Caldwell with

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