“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” Revelation 2:4-5
I recently spoke with someone who admitted she was living in a situation that was not what God desires. Further discussion revealed that lack of opportunity to make this right was not the core reason she had yet to make the necessary changes. She reasoned out loud that everything else in her life surrounding this situation was in place except this one area. Upon hearing an admonition of the risks her lifestyle posed, she replied that those who already made the change were vulnerable to the same risks as she is now, which was true to a degree.
This set me thinking about what more I might have said in my appeal to her. Why should she do the right thing if there were no apparent consequences? There are always consequences, of course, but so far she had suffered none that she could see. I asked myself what was the strongest reason for doing the right thing anyway. The answer is …love.
Love for the Lord because of all He has done makes all the difference. Love because He first loved us. Love because we care whether He is pleased or not. Love looks beyond the fact that we will be forgiven anyway. It cares about the broken fellowship that hangs between the act and the restoration. If there is no intimacy in our relationship with God, sin becomes less and less of a big deal to us. The nerve endings of sin-sensitivity grow numb and we are the poorer for it. Love for God will often make us do what His rules will not.
Where is the love, My Friend?
If you have lost it or if it has dimmed, how do you get it back? It happens by renewal of the mind, filling it with remembrance of His love for you, and getting back to anything you used to do that cultivated growth and intimacy with Him. Therein is the love-through repentance, renewal, and real relationship.