But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent..- Revelation 2:4-5 ESV
There is a proverb that states, Familiarity breeds contempt. Familiarity is a state of close relationship; being in close acquaintance with someone or something. Contempt is the act of despising; having a lack of respect for someone or something, or to look down on them or it with aversion. The phrase is often used in reference to relationships, but it can also apply to things. Consider how if someone has the same job or practices the same hobby for a long time, they may not only get bored with it but grow to hate it. There is also something I call the courting philosophy. When we desire something, we put our ‘best foot forward’ and pull out all the stops. Again, this is usually seen in relationships, at the beginning. A man sees a woman he wants, and he engages in the pursuing, in the wooing of her heart. He will do whatever it takes to convince her, that she is the one, and that he is the one…and then they say, “I DO”. After the ‘honeymoon is over’, we settle back into a normal routine and go back to pursuing our personal ambitions of life, career, fame, and fortune. God is not interested in our human way of pursuing something we want or need, and then once we have attained it, put it on the ‘backburner’ as an accessory to our life. In the same book of Revelation God says, this makes HIM SICK! Revelation 3:15-16; I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Leader, God does not want to be an accessory to our lives, He is the reason and the season of our lives. He demands top billing, as He should- He is the God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth, of that which is seen and unseen. Familiarity breeds contempt means that if you know someone or something very well, you can easily become bored with them and stop treating them with respect. What happens is that life gets busy, we are living our lives, paying the bills, chasing the dreams, taking care of our needs, ‘getting through’ the season, the crisis, the dilemma, the pandemic…this fleshly experience. In Luke 14 Jesus tells a parable about How the temporary things of this world can have us bypass, put on the ‘back burner’, the important things that are eternal, like our walk with God. But Jesus replied, “A certain man prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. When it was time for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have bought a field, and I need to go see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, so I cannot come.’ (Luke 14:16-20) When we first fell in love with our Savior, or finally understood our need for the Savior, or we were broken, at a low point and knew that we could no longer do life on our own, that we needed to give the ‘wheel of our life’ to Jesus- Jesus take the wheel- when things were NEW and FRESH, we did things, felt ways, and thought about things continually based on this new information, this new understanding, this new relationship, this NEW BEGINNING. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor 5:17)
Conduit, the TIME IS NOW to return to our FIRST LOVE! We must have a relational hierarchy, so that we know where to spend our time. Most people in our Lives understand that LOVE is spelled- TIME! The ones at the top of the list deserve more time, than the ones at the bottom of the list. The Preamble to the 10 commandments states this very clearly: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3) When the commandment says to have no other gods ‘before Me,’ it means to love something more than God. We are called to worship God instead of our husband\wife, our family, our house, car, or job- our Kingdom or your legacy. The first commandment means to spend MORE TIME with God, focused on God, serving God, being God’s hands, feet, head, and heart. Making God our first love, means He is our first priority. He is the first thing we think about in the morning and the last thing we think about in the evening. In our fast-paced world, we always seem to make time for important relationships. Consider, people who have good marriages order their lives so that they spend time with each other. God wants our HEART, BODY, SOUL, and our TIME- to be our FIRST LOVE. Our three-step process to get to this God ordained place with our Savior is to: Remember, Repent and Return. Remember our need for our Savior. Repent; change your mind- do something different. In other words, re-work your schedule and make sure God is the God of your schedule. Return to those FIRST WORKS. Do what you did at first when you were FRESH IN THE FAITH. The TIME IS NOW to get our priorities back in order and do the most important things. Be aware, from the definition of work, this involves EFFORT; it is not something that happens without effort on your part and without GOD’S GRACE. First works refers to the “important efforts,” the activities we did as NEW BELIEVERS. Schedule the following activities daily, nightly, weekly and MAKE TIME FOR JESUS! Where can you add these things to your schedule? Worship, Prayer, Bible study, Giving; TIME, TALENTS, RESOURCES, Service to others. These GOD-focused activities will deepen your intimate relationship with God. The end is near and for those who MAKE God their first love, a priority on their schedule- there is a payoff! ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus, come!