Bible Ballistics: BBs #134 First Or Last????
Last Friday I wasn’t able to get out the regular BBs as I was driving home from a funeral service for my uncle. After a 12-hour drive I just couldn’t get my brain to wrap around much of anything except dinner and a pillow!!! But I was thinking this morning about how often we get sidetracked from our focus. Or maybe I’m just the only one who has a problem with “distractions”.
This morning it’s been the teakettle, the dog needing attention, the Internet, the trash needing to be put out by the road—you get the picture. Well, there isn’t anything wrong with any of these things but they can often distract us from our ‘focus’, from our ‘task-at-hand’, from our ‘first love’. I’d like us to just take a minute and assess our diligence to our ‘first love’.
Revelation 2:2-3, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.”
Jesus commends the church at Ephesus in this passage for there diligent work for Him and His kingdom. They had a lot going for them—they were working hard, exercising endurance, faithfully standing against wickedness in their midst, they were testing those who claimed to speak truth but lied, they were diligently pursuing the walk of faith.
BUT, Jesus didn’t stop there; he had something else to say:
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:4-5
He spoke sharp words of rebuke for such fine people. We would have named them ‘church of the year’. They were doing all the right things outwardly, but their motives and true devotions had veered a bit. In fact Jesus said they had ‘left’ their ‘first love’. Not ‘lost’ it but ‘left’ it!!! Left it somewhere along the road of service?
Let’s see if we can put this in perspective? I love my dear husband; I cook, and clean, make the bed, I tend to his clothes, I do the household chores and make sure he has his meds, I even mow and trim the yard, BUT if I don’t make time to spend with him, can he really feel very loved? Jesus is saying the same thing to us, as well as this church! Where are our eyes? Where are our minds? Where are our hearts? Let’s make this a bit more personal—where are MY eyes, MY mind, MY heart? What’s the solution?
Jesus gives us the solution himself—HIMSELF!!!
Genesis 22:8, “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” And HE did provide the LAMB—then and at Calvary!!! HIMSELF=The Lamb!!!
And only when we ‘Remember’, ‘repent’ and re-‘ do’ the ‘first’ things ‘first’ will we find that joy and passionate energy to do the ‘the first works’. How, you might ask? Simply put, go back and rehearse what Jesus did for you. Just as the way to rekindle passion and love in a marriage is to go back and rehearse all the things that you used to do to show your love to your spouse, before they were your spouse. Doing loving things, rekindles love. We must revisit the cross—the place where we first met our LORD and LOVER of our souls. Remember and redo those things you once did in devotion and excitement and gratitude for all that HE did for you/me when HE saved us. Spend time with HIM and HIS Word. Tell HIM your troubles, your joys, your sorrows and confusions—HE wants to hear and answer all your life issues!!! HE died for the privilege!!!
So??? Here’s our shot for today.
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
For guilt relief?
Expectations of others?
Or for JESUS:
because He called you to it,
He equipped you to do it,
He leads you in every step of the way?
Only you can answer these questions, but I think they are worthy of our consideration.
Is Jesus first or last in my life?
Do I spend more time on others than Him?
On Facebook than in the Word of God?
Watching TV instead of listening to my Lord and praying?
More time telling my friends my troubles
or going to the cross with every care?
1 Peter 5:6-10, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”