Tuesday, February 22, 2005

First Love

Revelation 2:3-5
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

I have been thinking about Jesus's stern warning to the church at Ephesus. Actually, the Lord has brought it up to me for several months now. Now that I have been a Christian for several years, I see why the Bible warns the Christian so frequently to watch, stand fast, guard our hearts, hold on, not grow weary, and the like: it is so easy to drift back to our old ways, to get in the "old man's" skin again, to be 'busy' and practically forget about God. Reminds me of the parable of the sower: some seeds were choked by the weeds, the cares of this life.

You know where I really see this in my own life? When I go without daily reading the Word and daily having time alone with God. I am absolutely convinced that this is the Christian's sustenance. And it's not the same to "talk about" God or to "read about" God. No other word is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword (Heb 4:12). I do plenty of reading and talking "about" Him, but if I have not spent time with God, I am empty, parched, a wilting flower.

I think that many American Christians have an erroneous concept of repentance: that it is something done once, and then is unnecessary to do again. Like it's a one-time event, and ever afterwards, "Oh, I've done that." On the contrary; repentance must be happening whenever we stumble, whenever we see that we have strayed from the narrow path Jesus told us about. Repentance, which means "to turn" and implies change, is a gift that renews us through the blood of Christ.

I need renewal. There is no substitute for God: not church, not programs, not books, not blogs. I need Him, and so do you.

10 comments:

and then Life happened said...

HI,

I was getting groceries last Sunday, and I was suddenly aware of my great need of Him, not to pay for them :) but Him, I needed Him!
He is our constant renewal, our only Life, but in our soul, it needs that Life we so bathe in, in our spirit union.
Our soul is like a mirror. A mirror has no self-image-worth-esteem to reflect, its sole purpose is to reflect the likeness/image of another.
The warfare we are in daily is for our soul, who we gonna serve?

Richard

Kristen said...

YES, exactly, Richard!! That's just what I mean. My need for Him is overwhelming, and sometimes it almost forcibly grips me. God is so kind.

I also am frequently reminded by the Holy Spirit that Jesus very deliberately said to take up my cross DAILY. Not weekly, not sometimes, but daily. He knew that each day has enough trouble of its own, and each day is more than I can handle on my own.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristen, its Christy!
I've been wanting to get back and post on some of the good things you have here. Rob and I have heard the call for the last few years esp. that we are nothing without Him, and we desperately need HIM to sustain us, and enrich us. We are who we are because (like Richard said) we are a reflection of Christ. All that matters is Jesus. Renewal and repantance is daily, and there is a battle for the soul EVERY DAY. Satan won't stop comin at ya. So the only way to be protected, is stay connected to the Vine through prayer and the Word of God, Amen!!
Christian love to you :0)

Kristen said...

CHRISTY!!!!!!!!

I have missed you so very much! I am delighted to "see" you!

E-mail me when you get a chance. How is the new house?!?! :)

Thanks for the comments, of course. Boy howdy, I am excited!

Coffee and a Muffin said...

Kristen, it's funny that you posted this because it is in my thoughts lately, too. God's Word and prayer, God's Word and prayer. Our food. He is the Bread of Life. And our way of feeding on Him is by His Word and prayer. When we read His Word, we feast on Him. We learn of Him. We are like Mary at His feet. Since we can't see Him right now this is the way He has prepared for us to be "with" Him. I can't tell you how many times He has convicted me as I was reading along in His Word and read of something I did that He immediately brought to mind. Since I read prayerfully, it was dealt with right then and there. How can we be close to Him without that daily time alone with Him. It is SUCH a need. The church would be TRANSFORMED if all believers did this daily. It has transformed my life!

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Kristen said...

Amen, Kim! I have seen myself a lot in Martha, though--too caught up in other things to do what's important. Help me, Lord!

Humble_Servant said...

Kristen,
You preach it Sister! You are so right. We must keep our eyes on the Prize. Our walk with Christ is nothing if we do not WALK with Christ. I am not standing on my soapbox pointing my finger. I am just a guilty as anyone. I need to be held accountable by my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. When we get to involved in the trivial aspects of life, we miss out. We miss out on having our daily fellowship with our Creator. We must strive to get so close to Him that it is as if he were physically walking beside us. Thank you for reminding us that God has given us the ability to commune with Him. We must not treat such an awesome gift with contempt.

Amber Lynn said...

Amen, Kristen!!

I had been struggling because there are so many Christian blogs out there and some people seem SO knowledgeable but are very open about NOT reading their Bibles every day. How can they be alive in Christ if they don't spend time with him? Makes no sense. Thanks for the encouragement.

I recently shared my view on this very thing. Here it is. By the way, have you seen the Fight for Terri happening around the blogsphere? It's a pretty sad story, but really cool to see everyone putting down their fights about music and clothing to pick up something Christ would be deeply concerned about.

Evan said...

Kristen, I have also recently recognized my need for renewal. Last year I was so involved in so many ministries, doing so many things for God, trying my best to impersonate Martha, but I ended up feeling dead inside since I was not spending much time with God. Unloading my schedule to focus more on intimacy with God has done wondrous things for my attitude, my relationships, and my blogging (which was nonexistent when I was running on empty). Blog on, sister!

Kristen said...

H_S: Amen. :)

Amber Lynn: Thanks so much for sharing that post (I missed it while out of town) and the info about Terri. I've been following her story for months...it's truly horrifying. Christians are the only ones I see who are outraged about it; I am sure there are others, but you know what I mean. I pray that her life is spared.

Evan: Thanks, bro! :) I remember how good it feels to spend the time with the Lord that I need. I am so thankful for what He is doing in your life.

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