Remember Your First Love

I jokingly say that I will not teach Revelation until I’ve been a church for five years. I’m almost done with my fifth year here at Asbury, so I guess I may have to teach it sometime soon! LOL.

Revelation to me in an interesting book, there’s always a lot of debate about the middle part, and that’s where most of the attention goes. But to me, I really love the beginning and the end. In the beginning, John is writing letters to seven churches from Jesus, letters that bring encouragement and challenges to the churches.

The end, of course, shows us a picture of eternity and what it will be like when we come the wedding feast of the Lamb, when Jesus comes for His church.

Today’s passage comes from that first portion, the seven letters. Listen to what it says to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2: 1-5:

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 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.

HEART2I love that reminder. You’ve lost your first love. For so many of us as Christians, that can happen to us. We love Jesus. We really do. We have been affected by His grace. We have seen His mercy. We have tasted His goodness.

We know it. We really do. We know how good God is. We really do.

And we forget. We just forget. Life gets busy. Things happen. We know our first love.

And we forget.

Today, remember your first love. Place Jesus first in all things. When He is on the throne of our hearts, all things work out, somehow. When anything else is on the throne, even the good things, they will in crush us.

When Jesus is first, things just make sense. When anything else is in first place, things (in time) will fall apart.

Today, remember. Remember. Remember your first love.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

A New Thing

plant_new_life-1920x1200Yesterday we talked about getting out of a rut, how God is in the midst of doing a new thing. In this season of Advent, we have to ask ourselves, do we really believe that God is, doing something new?

Sunday, at Asbury, I said this – don’t give me your Christian answer; give me your real answer. Your Christian answer is what you think we have to give as good people. Your real answer is what you really think and believe.

And here’s the thing. God knows what you are thinking. God knows what you believe. God knows what’s on your heart.

So, let me ask you, do we really believe that God is going to do something new in our lives? Or do we think that things are going to always remain the same, remain as they are now? Or could God possibly do something new in our lives?

Listen to what it says today in Revelation 21: 2-5:

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

God is making all things new. All things. Me. You. All things.

You know what the new work God wants to do is? You. Me. He wants to make us new. He wants to restore us. Remake us. Change us.

Remove the dirt of the past. Remove the shame and sin of the past. Remove the brokenness of the past. Make us new.

That’s what He wants to do for you and in you today. Not just forgive you. Make you new.

Today, you can be new. You can be different. You can start over. You can begin again. You can leave the past and the old behind. You can be new.

That’s where all this is headed. That’s what God wants to do. That’s what God will do. He will make all things new.

And He wants to start today with me and with you. Today, through grace, mercy, and love, God wants to make us new.

Today, will we let Him? Will let us, through His Holy Spirit, make us new?

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!