(an edited excerpt from Renewed to Soar: Inspiration from Summit of Light)
Love. Over the years much has been said and written about this one word. However, for the purposes here, we are only going to look at the “first love” that is mentioned in Revelation 2:4.
As believers, the only definition of love that should matter
to us is what God says. And Scripture clearly states that God is love (1 John 4:8). It also talks about us honoring Him with the “first fruits” of our lives (Exodus 22:29). So, while the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), and other translations do not specifically say that the first love referenced in verse 4 is Jesus, others do and my spirit bears witness with them — since we are to always honor Him by giving Him first place in our lives. Therefore, it is based upon what God has revealed to us about Himself and what He requires of us that we come to understand that the “First Love” being referred to in verse 4 is indeed Jesus.
But, what does He mean when He tells the Ephesians, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love”? (emphasis added). More importantly, how may this Scripture be applicable to you . . . or me?
Could it be that we, like the church at Ephesus, may have also unintentionally left our First Love – despite all of the good works we may be doing in His name? Let’s take a closer look.
Remember the first time you were in love and some of the powerful emotions you experienced?
Remember the excitement of being with this person who seemingly loved you just as much as you loved them?
Remember the longing of always wanting to be with them — as often as possible, for as long as possible?
Remember the passion?
Think back on how you just couldn’t seem to get enough of each other and were thoroughly convinced that there was no one else in the world for you.
Do you remember? I do! For me, it was such an intense, exciting, and wonderful time!
Now, think back to when you accepted Jesus as Savior and began the journey of allowing Him to be your Lord.
Remember the excitement of your “new birth” and how you told any and everybody about it who would listen?
Remember the passion you had for Jesus and how you boldly proclaimed His “good news” to everybody wherever you went?
Remember the longing of always wanting to be with Him — in the Word and spending “alone time” with Him?
Remember? Well, I vividly remember this, too!
So, what are we to do if the Holy Spirit reveals that we have indeed become guilty of leaving our First Love? That the good works we’re doing in the name of the Lord are really being done in the arm of our corrupt flesh?
Well, the good news is this: Our God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). All we have to do is call upon Him and then do (John 2:5) what Jesus told the Ephesians to do: remember, repent, and once again do whatever first works He gave us to do.
If we do this from a truly repentant heart, I am confident that those remaining “first love embers” will once again be rekindled into roaring flames of fire for Jesus, our only true . . . First Love.