HOW IS YOUR PASSION?
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. — Revelation 2:4
My father-in-law, Gerald Canon, was a pastor in the greater Houston area for over fifty years. He was a wonderful man with a wealth of Bible knowledge. When I was just beginning to teach my first Sunday school class, I would call him to pick his brain.
I remember asking him about David being called “a man after My [God’s] heart” (Acts 13:22). I posed this question to him one day, “Gerald, what do you think it means exactly, to be a man after God’s own heart?”
He answered with wisdom and insight, “David had a great passion, love and desire for God. The things that were important to God were important to David. That’s at the core of what it means.” Well put!
In Revelation 2:4, the Lord rebukes the church in Ephesus for leaving their first love. Remember, the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all you’ve got (see Matthew 22:37-38). If you leave your first love, you miss the most important thing of all. If you leave your first love, your passion for Jesus starts to wane.
How is your passion and love for the Lord Jesus these days? Are you “on fire,” “lukewarm,” or “getting cold”? Do you want to take a little test to check your spiritual temperature? (Let me warn you, it is convicting.)
You know you have left your first love when:
- You delight more in someone else than in God.
- Your soul does not long for one-on-one time with God.
- Your thoughts during leisure moments are rarely on God.
- You view the commands of God as restrictions on your life.
- You inwardly strive for the approval of man rather than the approval of God.
- You refuse to give up questionable activities.
- You fail to make Christ known for fear of rejection.
- You are unwilling to forgive another.
- You become complacent of sin around you.
What do you do if your passion for Christ has obviously waned? What do you do if you are guilty, as the church in Ephesus was, of leaving your first love? You heed the words of Jesus:
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lamp stand out of its place—unless you repent.” —Revelation 2:5
PRAYER OF REPENTANCE
Perhaps you need to pray this prayer of repentance:
Lord, when I honestly evaluate my heart for You, I see that I am guilty of leaving my first love. I don’t want to be a lukewarm Christian who is half-heartedly in love with You. Change my heart, God. Set my soul on fire. Help me to be so passionate about You. Thank You for the cross, Lord Jesus. Let me never forget how much You love me and what You paid to save me. I surrender anew and afresh to Your will and Your ways for me. Amen.
Remember, “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Passion problems require a fresh look at the cross of Jesus Christ. Why not reread the crucifixion accounts in the Gospels and watch The Passion of the Christ? You will be powerfully reminded of His unfathomable love for you, and your heart will start beating passionately once again for Him.
Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. Discover that you are not alone in prayer. Allow many people to join you in prayer. Go to www.fromhisheart.org/prayer.
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
The Bible says that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven … (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Each season is different, but each one brings its own blessings and growth. In this encouraging 3-Message series from Pastor Jeff Schreve, titled “SEASONS,” he shares with us some of the seasons we will experience in our spiritual life and what God desires for us through those key times.
For a Donation of $25 or More:
You will receive the cd album “Seasons,” and Pastor Jeff’s inspiring devotional book “Real Encouragement For Real Life.”