Have You Lost Your First Love?

This is a followup on my sermon from Revelation 2: 1-7 titled What’s Love Got to do with It? The theme was, have you lost your first love when it comes to your relationship to Christ?

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 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. (Rev 2:4-5 ESV)

These questions may serve as a diagnostic help as we probe our own hearts and ask this question, have I lost my first love in regard to following Christ as my Lord and Savior? All Christians should take stock of their lives from time to time. We need a spiritual checkup to see if we are spiritually health. These questions are certainly not exhaustive. I’m sure the reader can think of others that need to be asked. However, maybe these will help you and me think about our lives before Christ and ask that question, have I lost my first love?

  1. Have you stopped praying daily?
  2. When you do pray is it out of duty?
  3. When you pray, do you take time to think about God and wait on his reply?
  4. Does your faith influence the way you live your public life?
  5. When you make important decisions, do you consider what Scripture says? Do you pray about it?
  6. Do you use the phrase, “I prayed about it” as an excuse to do what you want to do?
  7. Do you read the Bible often?
  8. When you read Scripture, do you read with understanding?
  9. When you read Scripture, do you find surprising ideas that you have not seen before?
  10. Do you find it hard to go to church?
  11. Do you see “Church”as something you are a part of or something that you just attend?
  12. Do you spend a lot of time being critical of others at church?
  13. Is church attendance something you do when there is nothing else to do?
  14. Do you let hobbies, personal interests, sports, and other lesser matters keep you out of church?
  15. Do you feel close to other church members?
  16. Do you fellowship with church members and consider them your closest friends?
  17. Do you understand that church membership means a close spiritual bond between each other?
  18. Do you feel accountable to your fellow church members?
  19. Do you not attend church because you don’t like someone there?
  20. Do you do the work of the church?
  21. Do you volunteer or do you have to be asked and begged to take a position in the church?
  22. Do you think it is someone else’s responsibility to teach, serve on committees, chaperone at children and youth functions, etc.?
  23. Does your love for God cause you to tithe and give generously to the church?
  24. Do you think that a few dollars every now and then is all that is needed to serve God?
  25. Do you share your faith with others?
  26. Do others know you are a Christian by your behavior, your language, your attitudes?
  27. Do you believe that Christians should carry out a mission endeavor whenever possible?
  28. Would you refuse to go on a mission trip if it were offered to you?
  29. Do you give consideration to the poor and their needs?
  30. Are you put off by someone’s poverty, race, heritage, etc.? Would you refuse to minister to them or to fellowship with them?
  31. Given the chance to witness to someone about Christ, will you refuse?
  32. Do the two great commands, to love God and to love your neighbor, impact the way you live?
  33. As a Christian, do you think there should be limits to things you want or do you think you should buy whatever your heart desires?
  34. Are you proud or are you humble in the way you live and treat others?
  35. Do you think that worldly practices are fine for a Christian to practice?

JUST A WORD ABOUT SUNDAY WORSHIP

When we gather to worship, it is not the case that the choir, the singers, the music leader and the pastor are there to entertain the congregation. We misunderstand if we think that those people are there to move us.

Worship is the choir and the singers and the music leader, the pastor and the congregation who stand before God. He is the audience and we are on his stage. What we all do is to please him, not us.

In that time we gather for worship, it becomes a holy place where a holy people assemble and the court of our holy God descends among us. We are before the throne of God. Our congregational singing, our music made by singers and choirs, the words of scripture read and prayers offered and sermons preached are done to please God, for they are done in his court before his throne. When we worship God in his holy presence, there are no bad singers or readers or sermons. It is not about style or the kind of music we sing. It is all about God. We are there to glorify and honor God.

Worship is God’s great visitation. God comes upon us. In that kind of worship, the experience is transformative. We leave a little different than when we arrived because we have been in God’s presence. It is not an experience manufactured by the manipulations of music leaders or skillful pastors. It is what happens when we seek our holy God.

If you go to Sunday worship looking entertainment, you probably will not find it. But if you go ready to be in God’s presence and to express your love and honor to him, not only will you find God, you will find your soul lifted up. You will find that God’s glory touches you like a pat on the head or a touch on the shoulder and the words, “you did well, I’m glad you came, well done good and faithful servant.” Then he sends us away filled with the Spirit who guides us as we live before him.