I’m joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. All of us writing on that same word.
And the first prompt for 2016 is … First.
Love sure can be fickle. We throw the word around rather casually from loving a favorite sweater to loving a TV program or to our love of a favorite food.
Yet upon seeing the word prompt, the echo came to “Return to my first love.” I quickly opened to the familiar passage and read the letter to the church in Ephesus found in Revelation 2. Jesus saw all their hard work and their endurance. He commended them for not tolerating evil people but discerning the truth. They patiently suffered without quitting.
Jesus had only one complaint of them:
“You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen!! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.”
(Revelation 2: 4-5, NLT)
In spite of all the good they were doing, they were not doing the most important – they were not loving Jesus the way they had at first. Their hearts had grown cold.
And not only towards Jesus. They also did not love each other as they did at first. Correct theology, good deeds, even perseverance will all be empty if love is absent in our lives. Jesus wants our hearts to be alive with passion. Filled to the brim with the same fervent love we had when we first began so that it overflows to those around us.
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-38, NLT)
A wonderful reminder to start off this year of 2016 …
The first and most important thing to do –
return to our first love, loving Him as we did at first.
And love others.