Core Christian Value
The intensity of our first love, the moment that we first knew that Jesus loves us was a key moment. Is being lukewarm toward Jesus acceptable? Never!
Is it possible that the average Christian thinks of an “evangelical”, one who proclaims their faith to others, as a little radical? We know that the Scriptures say that a person should not stand on street corners or in the church or synagogue, praying aloud, in order that they may be seen by men. It appears that Jesus was condemning their motive for witnessing, “so that they could be seen by men”. What is your reaction to people who seem to be witnessing in order to bring attention to themselves?
Is there a risk in keeping silent when you should be witnessing of your love for Jesus, either verbally or by your actions? Listen to the words of Jesus on this matter: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad”. MATTHEW 12:30, NKJV. Have you ever felt you could be “scattering”, that is pushing people away from Jesus by your inaction?
What things could you do that would indicate to Jesus that you are a “gatherer”? The list you are about to make, in writing or otherwise, is a critically important list. Take your time and think carefully about what you, personally, could do. It may be useful to also list the things you could do wrong, not especially sinful things, but things that make you appear to be prideful, “that you can be seen by men”.
Let’s read a quotation from Jesus: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,* I will vomit you out of My mouth”. REVELATION 3:15-17, NKJV.
This teaching is extremely blunt. It hits us hard because we see that “drifting along with the crowd, singing the songs in church, doing good things on occasion”, all are works, by themselves, that could place us in the lukewarm category. Why would Jesus say these words? Are you able to list things that are good works but which may place you in a “lukewarm” position, especially if you do not get around to doing those things that really matter to Jesus?
What are the things that really matter in our relationship with Jesus? Think about when you first discovered that Jesus loves you and how you felt when you responded positively to His love. Did you, in all humility and contrition (define those words carefully for the family), confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, cleansing and inner strength? Listen to the words of Jesus about how your “first love” for Him, was such an important moment.
“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 2:4-6 NKJV
Our first love and the way we felt when we were first embraced by the love of Jesus, is of great importance.