Revelation 2:2-4 (NIV)
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
I have been married for 36 years. I married my high school sweetheart. In all we have been together about 40 years. Marriage is not always easy. It’s not always easy to keep the relationship fresh. Over the years we can allow our familiarity with each other to take away the spark. We can forget the things that drew us together. It is important to keep it fresh. It is important to remember why you fell in love in the first place.
The same thing can happen with our relationship with Christ. Do you remember the day you turned to Jesus Christ in faith? If you were like me, there was an incredible sense of joy. I found myself wanting to read the bible. I looked for reasons to go to church. I remember calling the church on a Friday night to see if there were any ministry activities taking place. I told friends about the change in my life. I told my wife (not yet a believer at the time) about the things I felt God was changing in my life. Those were exciting days!
The problem is we can get into a routine and lose the dynamic that once added the excitement. It happens in a marriage. Spouses forget to keep the courtship going. Routine replaces excitement. We forget our first love.
The Scriptures are filled with a call to remember. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm (Deuteronomy 5:15). Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years (Deuteronomy 8:2). These are just a small sample of the over one hundred calls to “remember.”
If you find yourself forgetting your first love; if you are forgetting the excitement you felt when the Holy Spirit first touched your life, then it is time to remember. Don’t forget your first love. Think about the reasons you were drawn to God’s grace. Think about the relief you felt when you knew your sins were forgiven. This about the love God has for you. All your good works and efforts, all your endurance when confronted with hardships, don’t amount to anything without love. Take some time today to remember.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
The mind is incredibly. With our minds we can imagine amazing things. We can envision ourselves in the future. We can recall our past. We can plan. We can organize. We can imagine big things. What can you imagine?
Paul told the Ephesians that God could do more then they could ask for or even imagine. Nothing is too big or too small for God. He cares about us and has taken action to amaze all who put their trust in him.
What really amazes me is how God “does immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.” Paul said God works “according to his power that IS at work within us.” God’s power should be evident in all those who have turned to him in faith. The power of the Holy Spirit was promised and delivered when Christ ascended into heaven. We release that power when we keep God first in our lives.
Struggling with sin? Focus on Christ in your life and watch temptation go away. Are you praying that God will touch people you love with his grace? When we honor God and keep him first, we allow his grace to be reflected in our lives. When God’s grace is reflected in our lives, others see the living Gospel. Lives are changed! Prayers are answered. God can do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine. It starts when you allow God to work within you. You have the power of Christ within. Let it show.