First Love

Nana singing to twins

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.

It is Finished


One of the greatest challenges for me as a mother of young children was feeling that I was never finished with anything. I would clean up the kitchen after a meal and almost immediately someone was getting a snack, needing me to fix something for a bake sale ….the list could go on and on.
Never ending tasks:
• Laundry – need I say more?
• Clean sheets – someone throws up in bed right after you wash the sheets, bedspread, etc.
• Vacuuming – our children used to ask “who is coming over?” when I got the vacuum cleaner out, then as soon as I vacuumed, someone tracked in newly mown grass or mud.
• Meals – we all need to eat, but for moms the day often seems to flow from one meal to the next and looking back on my day, sometimes that is all I seemed to do.
• Picking up – I have sorted the toys, put all the puzzles together, and straightened the books …..then the children wake up from their nap. All is undone in a matter of minutes.

The fact of feeling that nothing was ever finished discouraged me. Yet that was a false belief because in reality my children were fed, their clothes were clean – these tasks were finished. The tasks just had to be repeated again… and again… and again. Our children had a clean organized home to live in…

Wait – clean and organized home is NOT an accurate description of our house at that time. The Health Department was never called in, we never had to call exterminators, but we lived in our house and you could tell we had four small children.

The issue of never finishing tasks was the concern for me. Yet in the flow of daily living these repeated tasks were essential to the well being of our life as a family.

During the past week following our Easter celebration, Jesus words on the cross “It is Finished” have caused me to see His death and resurrection in a new way.

John’s description of the crucifixion of Jesus shares this scene – John 19: 28-39

v.28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” v.29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. v.30 When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Jesus death and resurrection was a complete work. Jesus Himself said “It is finished”. There is nothing that anyone can do to make His salvation more complete – neither doctrine nor effort on our part will replace or enhance the salvation that Jesus bought for us with His shed blood.


Jesus paid the price so that I can live in freedom from the guilt and weight of my sin. It is not something I must do over and over again like the laundry. Once I confess my sin and receive His forgiveness, I am a new creation – not just a remake – but completely new.

2 Corinthians 5:16-18 (NLT)

v.16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! v.17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! v.18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.

It is finished and I am so thankful!