Loving God First
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent…Revelation 2:4-5
Just days before Bev and I got married in 1979, a ‘man of God’ got on the phone with me and prophesied over our lives. This dear ‘man of God’ has since gone home to Jesus, but the words that he spoke still echo deeply in my spirit. Ever since, one of my life verses has been Matt 6:33, which says…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
I have learnt that seeking the Kingdom of God and running after His righteousness contains secret essentials of loving Him intrinsically.
Our 21s Century mindset is very different. The thought patterns that permeate our society, our entire education system in India and our way of life is diametrically opposite to Biblical standards.
There is so much of ‘Greece’ that has entered our mindset. We really need to be ‘de-Greeced’ in our thinking. In reality, the ‘Platonic’ system of thinking, deducing and concluding has destroyed much of our faith and commitment to God.
We think in Greek ways, that is the legacy of our history; it is not easy to think in any other way. We have to change our entire mindset to think differently. Let me explain…
- The Greek mind says that man is at the centre of life; the Biblical mind says that God is at the centre of life.
- The Greek mind says that the things of God must be deduced from our logical minds, the Biblical mind says that the things of God can only be understood by faith and revelation.
- The Greek mind says that we should strive for knowledge about God; the Biblical mind says that we should know God.
- Think about it…the Greek part of us inclines us towards building us a whole library of books, podcasts and sermons that help us to build up a systematic theology of God, an understanding of His attributes, while the Biblical part of us inclines us to drop to our knees and ask Him to teach us His ways.
- The Greek part of us inclines us to read Bible commentaries, benefiting from the wisdom of scholars. The Biblical part of us inclines us to read the Bible alone and pray for revelation and illumination.
God is calling us back to our first Love, and that is Jesus. If there is any other time in history that the Church of Jesus needs to heed this, it is today. Now is the time to get back to the intimacy and love for Jesus and His Church.
Everything that is happening around us is designed to take us away from the pure, unadulterated love for God. Hence the Bible emphatically teaches us to love God first, and that too above all things that pertain to our life here on earth.
There are three essentials that I consider personally. These three have been part of my life ever since the ‘man of God’ released a prophetic word into our marriage.
The first essential I would point out to you is simply this…your affections for God will finally determine your devotion to Him in your everyday life. Beloved the arena of our hearts contain very powerful emotions that are affixed with memories that have deep desires and eventually will form our character. Our affections are the currents that steer our lifestyles and choices. Our affections will determine what actually motivates our actions, shapes our aspirations and mold our determinations. Wherever these affections are…so our hearts will find attachments to. Think about this sincerely. What or whom do you love the most? According to that your alignments in living will be formed.
Then our second essential follows closely behind. Where our heart is there our treasure will be. Matt 6:21. Like someone said…the human heart loves what it treasures. Jesus taught us to love God with all our hearts! When we discover treasure…love follows it hard. Love is the result of our affections. Amazing…the treasure comes first, and the heart comes second! If the Kingdom of God is your treasure then your heart will have no other seeking.
Hey, let us love Jesus completely, so we can treasure Him absolutely. Our affections are the outcome of what we treasure. When we truly confront Jesus in His glory and worth, loving Him with all our hearts will be the end result.
Finally, you spend your quality time with whom or that which you cherish the most. The Bible gives us an incredible picture of how the Seraphim consistently and persistently gaze on the face of God. This is what constantly keeps them in His Presence and makes His Light shine on them. That is why God desires our best time. He says for us to remember our Creator in the days of our youth. Then again, He says, to allow His light shine on us as…we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Sadly, a lethargic, myopic and anoxic church can be traced back to hearts that have misplaced affections.
When your greatest treasure is not Christ…then you have to serve somebody?
Now, who is that?