Renewing our Love for God

Revelation 2:2-4 ESV

“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.”

As Christians, we still live in flesh bodies. We grow weak and tired, we lack energy and enthusiasm, we have seen better days, but today is not one of them. We are tempted to live by our feelings and to not walk by faith, and we have plenty of people who would gladly cheer us on, telling us we deserve to relax and enjoy life and to take time off from serving the Lord.

Now, granted, rest is important. Our bodies need adequate rest but not as much as what a lot of people think that they need. But when the Lord calls and he says “go,” then we need to go, and we need to do what he says, and we must not get lazy and slothful about the work of the Lord to which he has called us. For if he has called us, he will provide all we need to carry on.

I think that, especially in America, we are being given this idea that our “free time” is ours to live however we want and to do whatever we want. But we were bought with the price of Jesus’ blood on that cross so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and so that we would now honor him with our bodies (with our lives).

We now belong to Him. We are His possession. God/Jesus owns us. We are no longer our own to do with our time what we want to do the way we want to do it. We can go through all the religious rituals known to man and it doesn’t mean at all that we are living our lives for the glory of God or as though we believe that we are truly his and that he owns us.

But we read in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Now, these are not just the works that we know we are to do that we can do by routine and still not be truly walking with God. For if we are his workmanship, then we are submitting to him in allowing him to work his will and purpose in and through our lives for his glory and praise.

There is a difference, in other words, between just doing the works we know we ought to do by routine or ritual and us actually submitting to God and surrendering our lives to him and following him each step of the way, listening to him when he says “go” and so we go, doing what he asks us to do whenever he asks us to do it, which he prompts us to do by his Spirit if we are listening, and if we are willing to obey his voice.

For example, let’s take marriage. When we get married we are usually madly in love with the person we are marrying and we want nothing more than to please him or her. And so we try to find out what pleases our spouse so that we can do it, but we don’t stop doing that. We continue to be sensitive to his or her needs and to what will make him or her happy (not including sinning, though. We never sin to make someone else happy).

Now a lot of married couples stop doing that at some point. They will still go through the routines of married life, but they have lost that passion for one another and for finding out what pleases the other person so that he or she can do it for the other. And that is what this is talking about here. We can get lazy and we can lose interest in finding out how to please the Lord and not be sensitive to his voice to obey him moment by moment.

Revelation 2:5-6 ESV

“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. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

So, just like when a marriage begins to grow stale and the married couple, thus, begins to drift apart from each other, although they may still go through the primary motions of married life, they need their marriage revived and renewed, so it is the same with our marriage to Jesus Christ. Sometimes our relationship with Jesus needs a jump start and we need to renew our marriage vows to the Lord Jesus.

For when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith we are now his bride and he is our husband, and so we are to honor him with our lives and live daily and moment by moment to please him in all that we do. We can’t just fall into routines while we ignore his heart and our marriage to him, but we must be intimate with him daily in listening to what he has for us and then we need to be following him moment by moment.

If we do not, and if we choose to go our own way, and to do our own thing, our hearts and our passion for him will die out and our spiritual lives will become stale and we won’t have any impact on this world for Jesus Christ because we stopped listening to our Lord and we stopped being sensitive to what he wants us to do now, today, at this moment. And the Scriptures teach that if we do not walk in obedience to him that we will not have eternal life with him, so we need to take this to heart.

Revelation 2:7 ESV

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

If we are to conquer, then we need to be in God’s word daily, reading it in context, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak truth to our hearts, and then we need to daily be putting what he is teaching us into practice. We can’t live to please the Lord, though, if we are living to please the flesh, and if we are walking in sin, and if we are making sin our practice. So, we must first of all forsake our sins and then submit to God’s will for our lives.

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Hymn lyrics by Anonymous/Unknown
Music by American Melody

“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you” (2 Co. 13:4 NASB).

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

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