Do you remember your “first?”


Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the “first” and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

There is something “magical” about firsts.  Now don’t get all technical with me about using the word magical.  In all things there is both good and bad but the thing I’m trying to get at here is a shear wondrous excitement.  It’s that tingly heart palpitation excitement you feel when you experience something new.  Like the first time you went off to your first day of school?  How about the first time you rode a bike? Or your first kiss? How about when you first fell in love? Or when you walked down the isle with your mate?  Or seeing your newborn baby for the first time?

I vividly remember the day when my first daughter Whitney was born.  Talk about a labor or love.  Hours upon hours of excruciating pain.  I chose natural childbirth for my first experience because I wanted to feel the pain (I know, crazy right?) It didn’t help that in my prenatal classes my instructor was really into natural birthing.  I have always had great pregnancies, but the birthing process, now that was another story.  I had never felt such intense pain as I wanted to die.  And yet, as soon as I laid eyes upon the precious baby girl, I was smitten with love.

Suddenly there was no more thought about the pain or what it took to get her into the world.  But now there was this amazing euphoria and adrenaline because the excruciating delivery was now over, and I was holding this sweet little miracle that God had now entrusted to my care. It was the same for each of the births of my children.  Afterwards, upon seeing them for the first time, there was this instantaneous love which made the labor so worth the process.

Yes, all the firsts we get to experience in life are great and wondrous things. In the same way God wants to be our “first love.”  Multiple places in scripture we are told. . . to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  That is to love “Him” as our everything.  I know when we first accept Jesus into our hearts that this is the direct result of that.  We’re in the word, we’re praying, we’re telling others about him and what he’s doing in our lives.  We’re in essence all fired up and ready to set the world on fire for him.

Sometimes slowly over a course of time, something happens to that once blazing fire of love.  We let other “things” creep into the first place spot in our hearts.  Weather its actual things, people, striving or whatever.  We get “sleepy” in our faith and suddenly we’re not spending time with God.  We’re not in his word yet alone even thinking about him.  We become consumed by everything else in the world and we’re merely existing, day-to-day. Or we’re letting our passion for other things drive us versus the passion we once felt for God.  In Matthew 24:12 we are told . . . because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.  The sleepiness of our faith has taken a hold of us and we drifting in la la land.  The fire that once was ablaze is now smoldering.

In order to start a fire we must fan the flames.  And in order to maintain a fire we must feed it.  It is the same way in our faith and love for God.  We must spend time with him and we must feed the fire of our hearts with the word and in prayer and communion with him to keep our love alive and vibrant.  We must spend enough time with him that our love continues to grow, not stagnate.  God’s love is pure love and to walk and abide in his love we must stay connected to the source and fan the flames of “his” love in our hearts. Remember we only have the capability to love because we are HIS  “first” love.

Father God thank you for your amazing love for us.  Help us not to lose our first love but to keep it alive and growing.  Help us not to grow weary and sleepy in our faith. When things get rough help us not to give up but to press deeper into you.  Help us to grow in and maintain the vibrant passion in the love that you have for us. You are an amazing God.  We thank you again for your amazing love. Help us to live and love fully “in you” and all you have for us.  All glory and praise to you, who is the lover of our souls! In your name we pray. AMEN

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