Returning to Our First Love

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A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day March 25, 2019

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

For anyone that has been in ministry for any length of time we all vividly remember when we were saved and when we were called. We remember the fervor, passion, and love we first had for God and people. We also remember every hurt and every rejection we have experienced from people through years of ministry. If we are not very careful, we can let those hurtful things chip away at our love for people and let them harden our hearts. That is why it is good to have heart check-ups by constantly being brutally honest with ourselves and re-reading how important love is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the Book of Revelation Jesus evaluated the different churches and this is what He said about the Church at Ephesus:

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: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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. (Revelation 2:2-5)

I think we can gather from this that loving the people is pretty important to Jesus and that does not just include the ones you agree with. It includes the unlovely, the unsaved, and even the ones of a different political persuasion. It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance and love is the key to displaying that goodness. No real ministry will survive without love.

So, let’s look at a few scriptures and take a personal heart check-up:

Jesus said His disciples would be known by their love for each other (John 13:35).

The Apostle Paul said there were three foundational truths and they were faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these was love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Let’s take a close look at the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 and evaluate how we measure up:

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (God’s love), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (God’s love), it profiteth me nothing. Charity (God’s love) suffereth long (endures with patience and serenity), and is kind (thoughtful); charity (God’s love) envieth not (is not envious or jealous); charity (God’s love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up (does not brag and is not proud or arrogant); Doth not behave itself unseemly (rude), seeketh not her own (is all about the people), is not easily provoked (overly sensitive or easily angered), thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth (when right and justice prevail); Beareth all things (regardless of what happens), believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (remaining stedfast during difficult times). Charity (God’s love) never faileth (never fades nor ends): (1 Corinthians 13:2-8)

Now, you may say this is impossible!! You would be right. It is impossible without the Lord. You need His help and His Holy Spirit to come anywhere close to these goals. Will you fail? Yes, you will fail, but just like the Church at Ephesus we can repent and move on. The best scripture that I have found that helps me during these times is as follows:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (Hebrew 12:2-4)

Just remember, whether you are in the ministry or in business, it’s all about the people.

 

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