Monday, March 24, 2014
My First Love
“2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.” Revelations 2:2-4
My greatest fear in the ministry is that my heart will grow cold towards the things of God or I will become bitter and distance myself from the people of God. Recently Chad was talking to a man who had served in the ministry for a long time and had just become weary of sharing his faith. It is especially hard when working in difficult areas where we fight against so many spiritual strongholds. Sometimes I feel like The Gospel gets trampled by those marching in line to their destruction.
Last night the girls at church were really struggling, and speaking honestly about where they are in their walk with God. One girl said she is just living in doubt, another admits she is enjoying the sin in her life too much to live for God. “I don’t see the treasure you keep talking about.” She admitted. The things of God have no value to her right now.
Once again, I came home with a pretty heavy heart. While falling asleep, the only way I could let go of the burden was to pray, “God, I believe you sent Your Son Jesus so we could have peace with you. Please give me the strength to share this peace I have found. Give them the faith to accept this peace.”
This morning we were back in the usual routine of getting ready for school. Rooms were clean, at least picked up, kids were dressed and I sat down to try and catch the weather amidst the usual sounds of morning chaos. Ruby came to sit in my lap and said, “I have a secret. No boys can hear it!” Then she whispered in my ear so that Sean couldn’t hear, “I want to pray to God with you. Let’s go.”
I turned off the TV and stayed right where I was, but she stood up and said, “Let’s go in your room to pray, and get your Bible because I’m going to teach you something about Jesus.” I was laughing to myself thinking how silly and sweet it was for Ruby to want to teach me about Jesus; then I looked down at her tiny hand leading me into God’s presence. God spoke to my heart right then, “This is how you come to me, this is how you accept My Word, this is how you enter my Kingdom. Like this little child.”
As we walked past the office I grabbed my pink Precious Moments Bible off the shelf. It’s the one my dad bought me when I turned 11 years old. I opened it to show Ruby where I had written the date of my baptism and the date God had called me to be a missionary. She wasn’t very interested, but took the Bible from me and opened it up to Deuteronomy. After struggling to pronounce, “Dood-nor-mon-nomy” she moved on instead to the lesson from her heart. “Jesus is our father in Heaven.” She said, “He wants us to obey Him. He died for us.” I thanked her for sharing that Bible lesson. We prayed together, she thanked God for healing all the people and for all the churches around the world.
It is true that living under the constant influence of this world can leave a heart cold. It’s true that a spirit can grow battle weary and bitter. This is why throughout God’s Word we see a call to forsake the things of this world and pursue His presence. After the kids left for school, instead of whipping out my list of things I needed to catch up on, I stopped and thanked Jesus for using the tender heart of my daughter to lead me back to my first love. I pray my life won’t be a string of dead works, and instead bear good fruit as a result of a real and growing relationship with Jesus.
Do you remember your first love?