When it comes to love for God, how we begin is often how we should end.
Think about a time when you bought something new; you focused on that thing for a while, but over time you lost interest in it. It may have been a new shirt, a new fishing pole, or a new car. We tend to lose appreciation for what we have. I just invested in a bicycle, and right now I am focusing on accessorizing and caring for it. I wonder, though, what my attitude will be towards it in a few years. We can even lose interest in the people in our lives if we are not careful.
While we may approach others this way, we can never approach the Lord like this. First Peter 3:15 says, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” To sanctify something means to set it apart from other things. Peter is telling us that the Lord must be more important than anything or anyone else. James says that there is no changing or variation with God (James 1:17), so our love for God should not vary.
There is a very important lesson along these lines in Revelation 2:1-7. Here Jesus reprimands some of His people because they left their “first love” for Him (v.4). Think about that: here’s a group of people who turned to the Lord, and started loving God in a great way. Over time, however, the Lord was something to be compared with other things. He was no longer “set apart” from other things, or other people.
Similarly, in Revelation 3:16, Jesus said to another church that they were “lukewarm” in their love and passion for Him. Their desire for God was hot at first, but then it cooled off as time went on. The context shows that they were taken up with the cares and pursuits of life.
The Lord takes offence to this sort of thing, and rightly so, He is God! Our love should not grow cold; if anything it should get more intense with time. We need to find ways to keep our desire for God fresh. We have to know how to keep God as our focus, and more important than the things of this life.
“I Will Give All”
Jesus told a story of a man who, passing by a field, discovered a treasure. He went and sold all that he had to buy the field, so that he could have the treasure (Mat 13:44). He took one look at the treasure and said, “I will give all to have it!”
Some commentators say that this illustrates the Lord’s love for us; He gave all to have us. No doubt, He did this for us. But the story also describes what our love for the Lord should look like. We are going through the many challenges of life, and at some point the Lord draws us to Him. We become convinced that we need Him, and that He is better than all, and we say, “I will give all to have the Lord.” We make the Lord our treasure. Here our “first love” for the Lord is established.
Do you remember when you got saved, when you first received the Lord into your life? Something led you to turn your life over to the Lord, and you knew your life would never be the same! That is your first love, and God intends for it to never grow cold. It empowers you to continually say “yes” to Him, and “no” to sin.
I recall how when I received the Lord, people around me saw the change. One lady that I worked with, Beverly, said to me, “Randy, you’ll be back.” What she was saying is, “I’ve seen this religion thing before, people get excited about God, but then it wears off and they return to their old ways.” Years later I said to her, “Bev, do you remember when you told me that my excitement for living for the Lord would wear off?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Well it hasn’t, and I don’t plan on going back to my old ways!” I went on to describe to her the assurance and joy that only Jesus can give.
Early on in my walk with the Lord, I even had a pastor’s wife say to me, “Randy, you’ll come down after awhile.” Being around church folks most of her life, she no doubt saw countless believers lose their first love for Christ and “come down.” But God does not want us to lose our zeal for Him, if anything our appreciation for Him should grow over time!
Never Get Use To Jesus!
When you first came to the Lord, you knew what the Lord did for you. In your heart you knew you were lost, but then the light of gospel of Jesus Christ shone upon you! In His mercy, He drew you, and you opened your heart to Him. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8). In the words of Solomon, coming to the Lord tasted “sweet as a honeycomb” (Song of Solomon 5:1), but how about now, years later? Does the Lord still taste good? Are you still thankful that the Lord drew you from a pit? Are you growing in your understanding of Him, and your appreciation for Him? Are you letting God love others through you?
Let me encourage you to never get used to God; never get used to the idea of living for Jesus! Each day should be fresh with you and the Lord. If you feel your first love for the Lord is slipping, what should you do? Jesus told the believers at Ephesus to “return and do the first works of your first love” (Rev 2:4-5).
In your quiet time with the Lord, reflect on what you did with the Lord in the beginning. Try to identify the cares of life and timewasters that may be taking you from love for the Lord. Perhaps some of the time that you spend on a hobby or a pleasure you can use to pursue the things of God in your life. Be sure to stay with your Bible, and devotional reading. Be involved with a good church, and people excited about God! If you do these things, and remain sensitive to the Lord’s leading, your passion for the Lord will always be strong.
This Article is written by:
Randall D. Waibel,
Founder of ExpectGod.com,
A Ministry resource site designed to
encourage the believer’s faith toward God.