As mothers we love to record “firsts”. First smile, first steps, first words, first teeth, first haircut, first fit in the grocery store…well maybe NOT that first. The list could go on and on. We cherish these moments that denote milestones in the development of our children.
Our pastor read from Revelation 2:4 yesterday about a “first”. This is a sobering message from Jesus Christ to the church in Ephesus.
Revelation 2:1-4 (NKJV)
2 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “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 have 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.
Jesus lists several things that these early Christians are doing well. He is pleased that they are laboring hard for His kingdom, demonstrating patience, they hate evil, etc.
BUT – those things are not enough. Jesus says that in spite of all these great things, they have lost their first love.
Jesus tells us the first commandment in Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Obviously this first love is very important.
I started to think about the first time I felt God’s love for me. I was a very young child, singing the first sing I ever learned – “Jesus Loves Me.”
It was while singing that song I sensed what I now know was the Holy Spirit. He was filling me with a sense of God’s love for me that I was able to understand even at that young age.
I thought about the times I have sung that song with our children and now our grandchildren. I am so blessed that “Jesus Loves Me” is the first song I ever learned and the first song I have sung with our grandchildren. This simple song is profound in the truth it conveys. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.”
There have been times in my life when I have allowed other things, even very good things, like my husband and my children to take first place in my life.
When I do that, I open myself up to stress, fear, worry – all the things that are the opposite of God’s presence and the fruit of His Spirit.
I want to keep Jesus as my first love and be an example to my children and grandchildren of one who loves the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I must never leave my first love.