Remember your first love

Note from the Author: Often I start these notes/blogs and they never are finished. A friend shared someone who was struggling feeling unloved. And some other sentiments I’ve heard shared in the past few years. Anyways, I decided to finish it today, I hope it’s worthy of Him and touches even one. As always, please look up the Scriptures and talk to Him about what He wants to show you in them.

See another article about Remembering your first love here

Rejoice in the Lord always?

I don’t always feel like rejoicing. Sometimes my feelings don’t match up with the truth of God’s Word. But it’s important to remember His faithfulness always, no matter how I feel — because I know His Word is truth, and my feelings are not.

There is a song I used to love when I was very young. I haven’t heard it in awhile, but it came to mind the other day, as I sang it in my heart.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance right after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there’s something about that name.

It’s easy in this world to get distracted by the bad things that are going on. (The Cares of this world.) It can be a real concern as these happenings may affect our lives in so many ways. Seems like bad things have exponentially ramped up before our very eyes. It’s hard not to worry. We should not be surprised, yet it’s still shocking what the wicked want to force on us and others.

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Cor 2:14-15

The Beginning to the End

I was re-reading through Genesis, the history of the beginning, the reminder of the end that is seen in the book of Revelation. The first and the last chapter in His book and in this world. The father of all lies, who was a murderer from the beginning, going after God’s beloved creation (John 8:44). He seems to have succeeded, but Jesus’s work on the cross assures us he has not (Col 2:13-15; 1 John 4:4). I’m sure with each successive person who believed in God, the enemy gloated at their failures (which were many) and accused them in it. Not that we revel in failures or weaknesses, but failures and weakness is a fact of being born in Adam. Adam is his name, but Adam also means mankind and we have fallen short. Without God, we are nothing. He gave us life, but He also intended we would have life more abundantly (John 10:10). We need to remember that we need the Lord (and His deliverance) in everything we do. Every step we take…

God used imperfect, flawed people, individuals (as well as His chosen people), to accomplish good things and His purposes throughout history. We see it over and over again in His Word. Despite our failings, He will fulfill His promises to us, because He is our faithful God, faithful even when we are not.

God also showed longsuffering love over and over again to very flawed individuals who believed in Him. As a parent He chastises those He loves, but He is also patient, longsuffering and merciful to us.

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

A Spirit of Fear

I think we tend to forget His love and patience, and many times operate too often out of fear. In that, we need to remember, He does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). If we’re not experiencing that, who/what is keeping us from it? It can be experiences or circumstances of this life, it can be the sin that so easily besets us, (that we may not be laying aside – Heb 12:1-2). It may be the sin around us in the world which so vexes us each day — remind yourself of His deliverance (2 Peter 2:7-9).

Sorrow and depression may simply be real life losses. Or it can be from the spiritual battle we are in (1 Peter 2:11-12; Rom 7:23-25; Gal 5:16-17). Being in the Word helps us know the difference between the voice of our Shepherd, (Jn 10:4-5; 10-11), and the voice of the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). Flee from the accuser’s voice and follow your Shepherd. Read this passage again and again to remind yourself you will never be separated from His love.

Sorrow, Depression, Worry

A lot of us feel unsettled right now in varying ways. Some dealing with great sorrow, depression, worry, or discouragement. Others have expressed a deep sense of dread for seemingly no reason. Some are sad or feeling unloved. Listen, remember Leah? She was deceitful and plotted with her father to steal her sister’s husband. Yet she was unloved, and God cared (Gen 29:31). Remember that.

We watch some of our beloved brethren suffering through great sorrow and may not know how to help. We pray, we weep with them, and we suffer with them too (Rom 12:15). I was reminiscing about David, and his many different Psalms. Crying out in some, showing his suffering, or other times worshipping God, depending on his situation. Sometimes he wrote Imprecatory Psalms or Messianic Prophecy. But whether circumstances of this life, sin and willful choices, or the pain of living in this world, we see that David understood how all these things can steal our joy.

Psalm 51

In Psalm 51, David pleads with God to restore to him the JOY of his salvation. I don’t want my KJV brethren to be upset as I share some other translations, but in this passage I think the rendering of some of the other literal translations seem to get the original intent a little better, specifically on this verse.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit. Ps 51:12 (NASB — vs. a free spirit in KJV)

Other translations say grant me a willing spirit. In light of the context of the whole chapter, it seems as if he is asking God for help to even have the right attitude. He needs God’s help to be able to even open his mouth to praise God. When we sin, we need God more than ever, praise God for our advocate (1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:34, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:25)

In the beginning of the chapter David reminds God of his sin nature since birth. Then goes on to speak of God’s desire for his inner man (He desires truth in our innermost being and He will make us to know wisdom). He’s reminding God of His desire for him.

He is distraught, David prays that God will make him to be able to even hear/perceive or have the ability to know joy and gladness. I know that feeling, when we are so full of sorrow and praying for the crushed part of us to ‘feel’ or perceive joy again. David also asks for God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right/steadfast spirit within. This is a man after God’s own heart, yet he is experiencing deep grief that came from his own choices — still he has no strength within himself to make it right. None of us do, which is why we need Him, and why I believe believers should still acknowledge our wrongs to Him. I don’t believe we have to continually be saying we’re sorry every time we turn around, but in life, if we’ve wronged someone, when we recognize it, we should say so. And we see in 1 John 1 it is for our benefit, for our joy and closeness to Him.

David’s Grievous Sins

David obviously has committed several pretty grievous sins that affected many, yet as we will see, God is still merciful, longsuffering and compassionate.

This Psalm was written after the Prophet Nathan had come to David in 2 Samuel 12. David had lusted after his friend’s wife. He took her and when she came up pregnant he set about to cover it up by calling Uriah back from war so he would go sleep with his wife so he would be none the wiser. But Uriah refused, and subsequently Plan B was to have Uriah go to the front lines, knowing certainly he would be killed. So, David is both a murderer and an adulterer, someone who has betrayed a friend. Worst of all, he had given cause for the enemies of Lord to blaspheme Him by David’s behavior. Surely, he knows this, but had covered it and he had not acknowledged it to God, as we are wont to do. This hardens us. David was living his best life, or so he thought. Until…

The Loved Little Ewe Lamb 

Nathan the Prophet comes to tell him the tale of two men, the rich and the poor man, and one beloved little ewe lamb, who the rich man took from the poor. David doesn’t even see himself in the story, he’s angry at the injustice of this person and declares he needs put to death. (I wonder if he had that whoops moment — he’s talking about me…)

I pause here as I wonder how often we don’t see our own sins and choices in the same way. All of our sins deserve death. A lie, being undiscerning, not doing good when we should. Sometimes we don’t recognize sin because we’ve suppressed them and have not acknowledged them to Him. I know some do not feel like 1 John 1:9 is appropriate for the church, I do disagree. I still do think it’s right to acknowledge our sin to Him, and then trust Him for His once for all forgiveness and leave it behind.

Back to David. David and Bathsheba’s baby was born. Afterward fasting and praying for that week for his baby to live, he died a week later. David cleaned himself up, went to the house of the Lord and worshipped, and then went home to eat. His servants were perplexed about his change of attitude and questioned him about it. And he explained that he knew there was nothing he could do to change the circumstance, but he grasped on to the one great hope all believers in Christ have, which is; we will see them again when we go to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8).

Which reminds me of this passage; to be patient in our trials, for we know He is coming to gather us to Him in the clouds (1 Thess 4:16-18). Like a person who plants, we wait with patience for the fruits of our labor — the harvest. Be patient, His coming draws near, He is the Judge who stands at the door ready to say, “Come up Hither”. (Revelation 4:1)

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.  James 5:7-9

Remembering our First Love

The apostle John chastens the church at Ephesus because they’ve forgotten their first love (Rev 2:4). Have we forgotten our first love? It’s a question to possibly ask ourselves from time to time, not in order to beat ourselves up, but to remind us to draw near to God confident He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

When we fall in love, we focus on the one we love. We hang on their every word. We talk to them throughout the day, phone, text, in person. We ask them questions and we tell them about ourselves too.

Are we still doing that with Him? It may be time to make time for our Beloved.

Many times, even in marriage, we need to make time for our spouse. Take time to reconnect. Go out and spend some time together alone. Talk to each other, if you don’t talk much, you won’t grow close. And it can’t be one sided, where only person talks, and walks away when they’re done. I thought about that too, how often believers can relegate our relationship with Christ to that status. We pray when we’re in trouble or need something. But do we get into His Word to see what He’s trying to show us? How can the Holy Spirit bring something to our remembrance that we have not read? (John 14:26)

Our attitudes concerning His Word are so important. We need to trust His Spirit to guide us in His Word (John 16:13; 1 Cor 2:13). It is good to pray for understanding while we’re in it,(Ps 119:130; 169), and to study it with His approval as our desire (2 Tim 2:15).

Is it about knowledge or knowledge of the One who loved us so greatly? These Scriptures are the powerful Word that testifies of Him and eternal life in Him (John 5:39-40).

Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 19:10b

Our Necessary Food

The Bible likens His Word to food (Job 23:12; Is 55:10-11; Matt 4:4; John 4:32). We need it, but if we feed on seemingly spiritual junk food, dieting, or worldly junk food, these things won’t change for us. We physically know the difference between a good meal, a heavy meal, or even junk food. If we ate nothing but junk food, sooner or later it is going to affect us. Likewise, if we’re feeding ourselves with worldly stuff, we’re likely going to start feeling worse. Sadder, more fearful, empty, angry. Remember the song, Be careful little eyes what you see? Be a Berean, (Acts 17:11) search the Scriptures, don’t take teaching from just anybody, and whatever you read, look up the Scriptures referenced. Prove all things (1 Thess 5:21), hold fast to that which is good.

I try not watch much in the way of news, I can’t help but see some, my husband is a news watcher. But if I see too much, especially with much of the wicked agenda of some in our leadership, I can find myself having all sorts of emotions I do not want to have. I am hugely empathetic and the evil these people do that affects others also affects me, angers me, and creates worry not just for myself. I need to pray for them, for myself, for others, and get washed in the water by the Word (Eph 5:26). Don’t get too distracted, occupy yourselves till He comes.

Keep reminding yourself we all need to learn from Him always. Part of our discipleship is to continue in His Word (John 8:31-32). Remember Jesus said, Come to Him because His yoke is easy and His burden light. And don’t we get burdened and heavy laden in this world? He gave us the answer (Matt 11:28-30). Come to Him. Learn of Him.

Remember Joy — the Joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.

Psalm 94:17-19

 

2 Responses to “Remember your first love

  • Terry Nickens
    11 months ago

    Amen!
    Yes we are to remember our first Love: Jesus! I enjoyed this much needed words of encouragement from God’s Word !

    Thank you Holly for sharing!
    Oh and I too try to stay away from the news etc. The only news we need is The Good News of Jesus Christ! He’s coming back soon!

    • Thank you Terry! So glad it gave you some words of encouragement from His Word.

      He is coming back soon. The Judge who stands at the door.

      Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
      Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
      Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. James 5:7-9

      After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Revelation 4:1

      Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
      In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
      For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
      So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
      O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1 Cor 15:50-55

      Maranatha sister!

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