The Love You Had At First

The Love You Had At First
pureHOPE

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Where is your love?

I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My Name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent.” Revelation 2:2-5

The church in Ephesus is commended for their doctrinal vigilance and endurance but reminded that the love they had at first must accompany it.

How many of us are there today? In our hunger for truth and righteousness, we can lose some of our intimacy and rest with Jesus.  With a small child there is such innocence and closeness because of their dependance. Think of the untainted smiles or desperate cries of an infant, the sweetness stemming from their position of total humility.  Now think of a stereotypical adolescent… there is a know-it-all-ism that drains the love and light out of their actions.

The newly re-born child of God looks quite the same: clumsily clinging to Jesus, consistently crying out for Him, radiant with the fresh joy of following Him.  Too often though, as we grow (which is right and good), we also leave this place of intimacy, dependence, and love and trade it for dry knowledge or empty zeal.

At pureHOPE, we want to be serious about rejecting the lies of our sexualized culture, connecting the virtues of purity and justice, protecting, modeling godly behavior, and equipping families for purity, and about helping people recover from sexual addiction or struggle…

But if that ever gets in the way of loving God, loving others, and daily being sanctified in a personal and real way, then may we repent and may the Lord forgive us!

This passage is a heart check. The good news is, Jesus sees and is able to help us back to the love, gratitude, and awareness of our desperation for Him that we knew at first.  May we all walk humbly and find patience for others, grace for ourselves, and love to match our zeal.  He offers rest for our restless hearts and wants to help us look more like and love more like Him.

What does this look like for you? What are you serious about? Hopefully you’re serious about your pursuit of sexual purity, but is love and intimacy with Jesus truly the foundation for your vigilance in that area?

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