What Do You Want First: the Good News or the Bad News?

This week our Devotional Team takes on the topic, "Return and Rekindling of our First Love for Christ"  with Revelations 2:1-7 as our focus scripture. Just ask yourself, do I love Jesus like I did when I was first saved? If we're honest, in some point of our Christian walk, that love dynamic we had with Jesus Christ may have waned since the earlier days of our walk. Be encouraged by the devotionals this week and purpose to commit these verse to memory.
SCRIPTURE: ““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. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’ Revelations 2:1-7
Has the auto mechanic ever made this dreaded statement, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?” Truth be told, I don’t want either, but if I must hear it, give me the bad news first so I can end on a high note and pat myself on the back for all the things I didn’t break.  That’s just me, but the church at Ephesus didn’t have that choice. Jesus praised them for their admirable qualities, and what a list it was. 2 “I know your works, your labor, your [b]patience, and that you cannot [c]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.” Well, thank You, Jesus! That would make our day if the entire list stopped there. Before the smirks on their faces could grow into a smile, Jesus hits them and us with the bad news, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love!” For criminy sakes! I did? I did! Cue the frown and the lowered head, for we have been found blameworthy.

Tell the truth, have you left your first love for Jesus? Invariably, we all have. Once we learned the tricks of the Christian Trade, that we could comfortably teeter between the spiritual and the carnal, we employed a duplicity of thinking and practiced both. Fleshly thoughts and deeds lusting after and attempting to usurp the Spirit’s control is what slowly eroded our first love for Jesus.  It is the wrestling of the flesh against the Holy Spirit and an empty spiritual tank that makes us aware that something is wrong, something is lacking.

Like the broken-down car, once we have been told that something is wrong, we either seek a way to fix it or turn up the radio and ignore it. What are you willing to do to be cured, healed, corrected-to return and rekindle our first love for Christ? Revelations 2:4 tells us that there is one way-to repent and turn from what you are doing and return to the first things you did when you were saved. Remember what that was like to be in love with Jesus when you were first saved?  The things of Jesus mattered most and counted first and the joy you shared as you tarry there, none other has ever known. (Lyrics from In the Garden)

Oh my church family, repent! Admit that you have fallen out of love with our Savior, turn from what you are doing and immerse yourself in the quenchable lifesaving Word. Steal away to Jesus and pour out your praise and petitions in prayer. Seek His face while He may be found. Call Upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6). Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8). Love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).

Prayer: My dear Savior, reading those 5 words (Nevertheless I have this against you) causes me to cringe, because I know I have not loved You as I did when I first met You. I have allowed life and all of these secondary things to have preeminence. Please forgive me for giving to them what belongs to You. Jesus, I want to make You first, please help me to make You first. Stir up my heart, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Sis. Paula Smith


Deborah Whye - March 8th, 2024 at 8:39am

Oh Lord, 🎶Take me back to where I first believed!🎶

Forgive me for leaving my first love, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Chrst!😪🙏

Wendy - March 8th, 2024 at 11:28am

Amen 🙏 Amen! Loving Jesus is the foundation,to a saving relationship with Him!!

Mcneal and Debora Brockington - March 9th, 2024 at 3:50am

Thanks be to God for the overarching "Good News" that now there's no condemnation but good reason for that sacred pause for reflection, confession, restoration, and revival. Let the reign of grace be your gain.

Novella D Carpenter - March 9th, 2024 at 6:44pm

Yeah Lord. The truth and nothing but the truth.






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