Saturday, October 17, 2015

First Love


I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.  Revelation 3:11

Have you ever thought about what you would do differently if you actually KNEW that Jesus were returning SOON?  How much time would you need to get "ready?"  A year, five years, ten, twenty?  What changes would you make?  Or are you ready to meet your Maker now if your life is suddenly just OVER? 

I have a feeling that God's "bucket list" for each of us does not actually match what is on the typical list.  From His perspective, this life is short and then there is eternity.  He wants everyone to know about His precious Son.  He wants everyone to spend forever with Him.  He wants these tiny little lives of ours to bring BIG glory and honor to His holy name, any way possible (and it IS possible through His power and strength.)

God warned us that in the end times, love would wane due to sin and rebellion.  "Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold."  Matthew 24:12  He also told us what we should do about it.  "But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love.  Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent."  Revelation 2:4-5

That is something we can all relate to, isn't it?  What did we do when we first fell in love with our spouse?  We couldn't get enough of them, could we?  There was nothing we wouldn't do for them, was there?  We wanted to know all about them, spend as much time as possible with them, and do whatever we could to increase their happiness.  God expects no less devotion.  In fact, He expects MORE.  He is meant to be first.  "The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:29-31

You can't love anyone you don't even know.  We know God by reading the Bible.  We recognize His voice by hearing the Word.  We show our love for Him by honoring, serving and obeying.  Needless to say, we can't do that if we don't know what He said in the Bible that He expected.  Everything we need to know is in there, and even faith in Jesus, which saves us, comes from hearing the word.  Romans 10:9-10, 17  If we devote an hour or less a week to our spouse, will we have a happy marriage?  No! 

God is faithful to us and expects us to be faithful to Him in return.  He doesn't want to be an item on a list to check off.  He wants to come BEFORE the list.  Start and end your day with Him in prayer, praise, worship, thanks, song and study, and keep Him in mind ALL throughout EVERY day.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)  He never forgets you.  Be ready to meet Him in person so that you can look forward to it with excitement and joy, not uncertainty over whether or not He's been pleased with how you spent your life.

Personally, I don't think I'll be ready until God says so, and His timing is perfect.  Until then, I hope to use every minute I can to do whatever I can to show my appreciation for His unspeakable sacrifice on my behalf.  Is there any such thing as overdoing that?  I don't think so!

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