The Apostle John writes a lot about Jesus being our first love—not just an addition to make it through life. An unbeliever’s first love is almost always self, but the Christian’s first love is to be the Lord Jesus.
It's always a good time to ask who really has the position of first place in our hearts.
This is easy to evaluate because all we need to do is take inventory of what we do on a daily basis to determine our priorities.
Christianity becomes reality when we obey and build our life around the One who is the Way, Truth, and Life. Upholding Jesus as our first love is indicated by what we choose to do. We are often careful in saying all the right things but not doing them.
What we do reveals what we really believe.
In his book “Fan the Flame,” Joseph M. Stowell wrote these 12 signs to know whether a person has lost his first love. They have helped me search my own heart, and I believe they are worth each of our considerations as we ponder the priorities of our hearts.
- When my delight in the Lord is no longer as great as my delight in someone else, I have lost my first love.
- When my soul does not long for times of rich fellowship in God’s Word or in prayer, I have lost my first love.
- When my thoughts during leisure moments do not reflect upon the Lord, I have lost my first love.
- When I claim to be “only human” and easily give in to those things I know displease the Lord, I have lost my first love.
- When I do not willingly and cheerfully give to God’s work or to the needs of others, I have lost my first love.
- When I cease to treat every Christian brother as I would the Lord, I have lost my first love.
- When I view the commands of Christ as restrictions to my happiness rather than expressions of His love, I have lost my first love.
- When I inwardly strive for the acclaim of this world rather than the approval of the Lord, I have lost my first love.
- When I fail to make Christ or His words known because I fear rejection, I have lost my first love.
- When I refuse to give up an activity which I know is offending a weaker brother, I have lost my first love.
- When I become complacent to sinful conditions around me, I have lost my first love.
- When I am unable to forgive another for offending me, I have lost my first love.
As we read and recognize we’ve fallen short in most of these areas, you and I are in a good place. The brothers and sisters that don’t think there is room for growth and surrender are the ones that should tremble in the light of His presence.
My friends, let’s join hands to thank our Lord for His abiding grace and upholding presence and ask together that we might live anew and afresh as we daily fight to keep Jesus as our first love.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.