“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…” (Revelations 2:5)
Jesus told them they needed to think back to the point from where they had fallen – and he had already told them in the verse 4 where that place was: “thou hast left thy first love” (see the previous post: “Have You Left Your First Love?“).
Do you know where the place is of your “first love” with Christ Jesus? Many people (even many who claim to be “Christian”) never have known Jesus as their “first love”. For them, Jesus has always been second to something or someone else, and therefore they have to commit some sort of sin and are unable to be faithful and true to Jesus in full obedience to his Word. Sin causes them to continually be “fallen” from Jesus ever being their first love.
“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” (Hosea 14:1)
A “first love” begins with the “first works”, and that is why Jesus instructs them that they need to “do the first works” in order to get back into a proper relationship with him. Now if you have ever had Jesus as your “first love”, do you remember the first works that brought this about?
- “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
- “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:12-14)
- “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8)
Jesus first loved us, while we were yet sinners, so that his sacrificial love could save us and turn us forever away from doing sin. This is the “first work” that Jesus does in the heart of the individual once they, with a full broken heart of godly sorrow, turn completely away from their sin and ask for forgiveness.
Now if you have ever had Jesus as your “first love”: do you, can you, remember what it was like? Do you remember:
- the love that filled your heart when you knew Jesus fully pardoned you and accepted you
- because you were forgiven, you had forgiveness for everyone
- you wanted everyone to be saved – even your enemies
- you wanted to know more about Jesus, and you earnestly sought to know more about how he lived and taught
- you wanted to be close to Jesus: his body, the church, and his work, his sacrificial labor of love
Have these things become so far in the past that they are hard to remember or relate to? When someone else speaks of them, have they become distant or taken for granted? Has something else slipped in to take the place of your once “first love”?
People often leave their “first love” but yet continue as a good “church person”. When this is the case, church becomes to them more of a social meeting place where they meet and interact with nice people. They don’t come to adore and worship Jesus from a pure heart of devoted love. And, as has happened many times in the past, their service to God becomes more of a discipline than a labor of love. It becomes nothing more than a practice of adhering to certain rules, customs and processes that they use to gauge whether they, or someone else, loves God. But keeping Jesus as your “first love” is more than a religious adherence to rules, customs and processes.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:4-7)
Has someone hindered, or replaced, your love for Jesus by placing something, or someone else in front of you for a “first love”? This is serious! If you let this happen to you, the consequence will be that you eventually will have no spiritual light to see by!