Friday, July 24, 2009

First Love and First Works

Read carefully one of the most sobering warnings in the New Testament and notice that the "first love" we have for Jesus must be maintained for our light of love to shine on.

Revelation 2:4-5
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.

What then is "first love?" It is the connecting of two lives in such a way that their attention toward each other is constant and their desire is that they would remain so forever.

Anyone who has fallen in love knows how powerful this level of connection and attention is. Anyone who has fallen in love began immediately to practice the "first works" of "first love."

What then is "first works"? These are the natural behaviors that always emerge when one is experiencing first love. These are human capabilities that are consistently manifested as this first love connection continues.

I have identified in my own life and in observing people at least 8 "first works" that emerge when a "first love" connection occurs.

1. Listening
2. Appreciating or valuing.
3. Thanking
4. Confessing faults
5. Affirming the relationship
6. Desiring the full success of the one loved and the relationship with them.
7. Seeking benefits for the one loved
8. Acting together in harmony

The eight habits of "first love" are also a list of what are called "Spiritual disciplines". Spiritual mentors always lead new believers into these spiritual habits for full spiritual formation.

1. Listening to the word of God and the voice of God.
2. Worship
3. Thanksgiving
4. Confession
5. Affirming our identity in Christ
6. Intercession
7. Petition
8. Acting as one.

The next time you are listening to a love song on the radio, listen for these habits being described. Those of us who are older may find the music so passionate we think it is comical. There is, however, a lot of truth about "first love" in those songs. Our first love may lose some of its exclamations and youthful euphoria, but to remain "first love" it must always grow deeper even if it grows quieter.

When was the last time you felt the signs of "first love" between you and Jesus? It may be time for you to repent and listen to Him, praise Him, thank Him, confess to Him, affirm your relationship to Him, desire His success, seek benefits for Him and act as one with Him. If not, the light of your relationship will be of no use in this world.

Do these works of the "first love" sound strange or hard? Remember, He is the bridegroom and we are the bride. Every human being knows how to feel and do these eight things just as surely as ever person who falls in love automatically does them. The key to "first love" is to see Jesus every day like you saw Him the first day.

When you begin each day, pay attention to Jesus because he is your "first love". This love will determine how every other love goes in your life.

If you need a reason to begin your day with Jesus it is "first love."

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