Devotion to Christ
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ 2-Corinthians 11:3 NIV.
I remember leaving my first love, Jesus! It didn’t happen suddenly, like a leaf the Tide; I just drifted away (Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love Revelation 2:4 NASB).
When I was first saved, my mind was totally fixed on Jesus. Every day I thought it would be the day He would come back. I knew when He was on the cross He knew me and died for me. I couldn’t get enough of the word of God. When I meditated about the Lord I was so filled with the Spirit that I thought my heart would burst. I cried out; “Stop, Lord, I’ll die”. King David had the same experience (My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue Psalm 39:3 NIV).
I remember when I spoke about the Lord there was great assurance. One of things I will never forget, one night, my Wife was in the kitchen. I looked at her and all I felt was love for her, a love I never had before, a love blind to any faults and it was easy! “My Yoke” is easy said the Lord, through the Holy Spirit; “Rivers Of Living Waters will Flow” From within you”. I remember telling a spiritual brother about that event, when I said it was easy, he burst out in laughter and sad; “Tell me again”. He knew this love only comes through the Holy Spirit and devotion to Jesus (Brother Dom was one of the most devoted to Jesus persons I have ever known, Jesus walked in his shoes. He is with the Lord today). The Lord produces the Fruit, not us, we are His workmanship.
So tell us how and why you left your first love Ken? Like Peter, I took my eyes off the Lord, I focused on my own works, and the Lord took a back seat with my agenda. I was always quick to quote scripture, especially to those who were hurting. After one occasion of quoting scripture to a lady who was hurting. I was rebuked in love by a sister in the Lord. She said; “Ken”, it’s more than just quoting scripture, you must understand their hurt.”
(Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God 2-Corinthians 1:4 NASB). Although I have personally suffered much and could understand the sufferings of others, I was out of fellowship with the Lord (“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing John 15:5 NASB).
I knew something was wrong, gone was my joy and peace, self-righteousness had replaced the “Easy Love” I had. One day while on my way to work, I saw a man reading the Bible; I said hello to him and soon realized what a spiritual man he was. He looked me in the eye and said; “You have left your first Love”, now I realized that I did! I remember repenting and asking the Lord to forgive me. I made a promise to Him that from then on I would look to Him to lead me. I then became the obedient man who went on to be the spiritual man.
The secret I learned as did Paul the Apostle is found in Jesus alone, the *True Vine from which we the branches bear fruit. Love being greatest! As my brother in the Lord Dominic used to tell me; “Kenny, it’s a full surrender to the Lord”.
Paul, after serving the Lord with all his heart, counted his works as garbage compared to knowing the deep things of Christ (that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death Philippians 3:10. That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge Colossians 2:2-3 NASB).
As the word says; Christians, lay aside envy, strife and all that hinders, rejoice for anyone who proclaims the Good News of the Gospel. Even if their motives are wrong, Christ is preached! (Paraphrased)
I’m glad to say I’m back with my first love Jesus, I threw away the “Rubber Stamp” I thought He used for my works. Now I can relax and let Him lead the way, nobody does it better, by the way!
* “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit John 15:2 NASB. The branch not bearing fruit is a picture of a believer (Been there) not abiding in the Vine (Jesus). As a result THEIR works are wood, hay and stubble, men gather them (The dead works, not the believer) and burn them (Burn represents rejecting) as they are useless for God’s work. Only the Good Works done through Christ are the Gold, Silver and Precious Stones that will remain for those obedient believers at the Judgment of their works by the Lord.