Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Time to Return

Revelation 2:4-5

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Watching people addicted to drugs on the TV show Intervention reminds me of what a lot Christians might look like to God. Like the addicts, we really don’t know how far gone we are because we no longer have the ability to see ourselves. We are in danger of losing our “healthy shame.” Healthy shame keeps us within the limitations of God’s holiness; toxic shame takes us outside the limitations and leads to death. When we go beyond our limitations it leads to sin. Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and make you pay more than you want to pay. Thank God we have an interventionist! God sends the Holy Spirit to remind us just how far we’ve fallen from our place in God.

This is a good time to make an assessment of our lives to see how far or how close we are to God. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory but now it’s time to get back to where we need to be. The first step to recovery is to admit that our lives have become unmanageable.

When we are out of control we end up hurting the people we say we love the most. Sin will make you forget your first love and walk away from the one that loves you the most. Our first love is Jesus. There is no greater feeling than the unconditional love of Jesus. He loved you when nobody else thought you were loveable. He took the risk of dying for us hoping that we would love him back. He’s done so much for us and I have failed to love him back to the degree that he loved me. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments, “I’ve got to return to my first love! If you are like me then you’ve gotten to the end of this year and realized I am nowhere near where I should be in God. Sin has taken me further than I wanted to go, made me stay longer than I wanted to stay, and made me pay more than I wanted to pay, it’s time for me to get back to where I was in God. This is how:

1. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Remembering means looking back on where you were when you first gave your life to Jesus Christ and look at where you are now. What’s different? Do you remember when you first accepted Jesus and how on fire you were?! God’s fire consumed every part of my being, I couldn’t think about anything but Jesus. I’ve let too many distractions interrupt my relationship with Jesus. I got to return to my First Love!

2. Repent. Turn away from the things that took you away from Jesus. Once you turn away from something that is destroying you, you cannot go back to it.

3. Do the things you did at first. Experience God in Worship every Sunday. Empower yourself in Biblestudy. Engage in ministry and missions by serving other people.

Dear God,

I don’t want you to take my light or my fire. I’m ready to be committed like I was at first. You are my first love and I miss you. I miss talking to you like I used to. I miss the closeness we used to have. I want you back in my life fulltime. Nothing else matters. I love you more than this and that. You deserve all of me and not some of me. I’m not going to tell you that I love you, I’m getting ready to show you. Use me to the fullest this year. Even if I have to lose some friends, use me. Even if I don’t get invited to some places, use me. Even if I have to walk by myself, use me. I remember who I am now, but more than that I remember how much you love me. I love you Jesus and I’m sorry for falling off.

In Jesus Name,

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