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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.

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Set Aside for Greatness

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The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him. 2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! 3 Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. 4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Proverbs 31:1-5

The last part of Proverbs 31 is often used to honor mothers or women who are faithful to the call of God in their lives. The part that the Lord reminded me of lately is the first few verses of the chapter. It is rarely mentioned or quoted, but it says so very much. It is a passage describing a conversation between a mother and a son. While we don’t know very much about the principal characters in the passage, we can certainly acknowledge that something very important is being discussed. You see, this mother has a dream for her son to be successful. She may even believe that he might one day be a king. It may or may not be about women and alcohol. What we can absolutely be certain of is this: She has a dream for him and doesn’t want him (Lemuel) to risk blowing it.

She is reminding her son that he can’t live life like everyone else. She is reminding him that if he is going to get elevated to the incredible place God designed for his life, he must learn to allow God to set him aside for greatness. While everyone else is indulging in women and wine, she is challenging Lemuel to focus only on the “call of God.” This mother is wise, and she knows that the ones who are called to DEEP places in God are the ones who are willing to let Him separate their lives from the masses. I think this is a Word for the modern-day church. God is calling us to greatness. If greatness is to be reached, we have some decisions to make. It isn’t just about getting rid of the sinful things of our lives, but a willingness in us to be set aside for the purpose, His purpose. Many will get a touch from God and put away some sin from their lives, but only a few will be willing to let God have not just their actions, but their entire will.

Which will you choose?

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