Friday, February 12, 2021

Is Yours a Spiritual Life that's True to God?

Is Yours a Spiritual Life That is True to God?

“You have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4 NKJV 

We will always remember that best and brightest of hours when first we saw the Lord, lost our burden, received the scroll of promise, rejoiced in full salvation, and went on our way in peace. It was springtime in the soul; the winter was past. The rumbling of Sinai’s thunder was hushed; the flashing of its lightning was no longer noticed. God was seen as reconciled; the law threatened no vengeance, justice demanded no punishment. Flowers appeared in our hearts. Hope, love, peace, and patience sprang from the soil of our lives; the hyacinth of repentance, the snowdrop of pure holiness, the crocus of golden faith, and the daffodil of early love arrayed the garden of the soul. The time of the singing of birds had come, and we rejoiced with thanksgiving; we magnified the holy name of our forgiving God, and our resolve was this: “Lord, I am yours, completely yours. All I am, and all I have, I devote to you. You have bought me with your blood—let me spend myself and be spent in your service. In life and in death, let me be consecrated to you.” How have we kept this resolve? Our newlywed love burned with a holy flame of devotion to Jesus—is it the same now? Can Jesus say to us, “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4)? Oh, we have done so little for our Master’s glory! Our winter has lasted too long. We are as cold as ice when we should feel the summer’s glow and bloom with sacred flowers. We give God pennies when He deserves dollars—no, He deserves our heart’s blood to be coined in the service of His church and His truth. Shall we continue like this? Oh, Lord, after you have so richly blessed us, should we be ungrateful and indifferent to your good cause and work? Make us alive, that we may return to our first love and do our first works! Send us a warm, gentle spring, dear Sun of Righteousness.

- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 

It is a dangerous thing to live your life without a spiritual “plumb line,” or standard, by which you determine right from wrong. God's Word is that plumb line. Spiritual laws, like physical laws, are meant to protect you, not restrict you. You may exercise your freedom to challenge the laws of electricity, but to do so can bring you death. Likewise, you will not break God's laws, they will break you. God established absolute moral and spiritual laws that we are free to ignore, but we do so at our own peril. These laws are timeless. Culture does not supersede them. Circumstances do not abrogate them. God's laws are eternal, and they will save you from death if you follow them. You may feel that God's laws restrict and bind you. On the contrary, God's Word protects you from death (Rom. 6:23). For example, when God said that you are not to commit adultery He wanted to free you to experience the fullest pleasure of a marriage relationship. Furthermore, He knew the devastating heartache that would come to you, your spouse, your children, your relatives, your friends, and your church family if you broke this law. How important the laws of God are for your life! Without them, you would be robbed of the delights God has in store for you. Sin is choosing a standard other than God's law on which to base your life. If you are measuring your life by that of your neighbors, or society at large, then you are basing your life on lawlessness, and lawlessness is sin. -Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love. GALATIANS 5:22 

I’m convinced that what we need most in our world today—in our churches, in our homes, and in our personal lives—is a great outpouring of agape love. It is not an accident that God has put love at the top of the list of the fruit of the Spirit, because when that is right, everything else has the greatest potential to fall into place. How can we get this love in our lives? By finding out how much God really loves us. We love Him because He first loved us. If your heart is filled with bitterness, resentment, and hard feelings, God loves you just as you are in spite of that. But when you go to His Word and contemplate His love for you, when you see the price He paid that you might have Him and His love, when you drink deeply of His love and thank Him for loving you, the wonder of it all begins to break in on your consciousness. Then real love, agape love, God’s love, can begin to develop in your life. Get caught up in how God loves you, and watch your life respond. The more we know about God and His love for us, the more that love begins to fill our being until we become like Him. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

As I was taught about reading Scripture, so I say now about devotionals.  If God is continuing a theme, read it all.  So my Friend, read those 3 again.  

We wonder at the state of this world.  We have a true enemy, should your heart and soul belong to Jesus.  That enemy has plans too.

See if you can follow me around the room.

Look at the first devotional. Spurgeon is talking about our First Love, Jesus Christ.  He begs to ask you and I the question of have we forgotten our first love?

Look at the next devotional.  Blackaby is talking about morals and sin, as well as God's law.  Spiritual laws, like physical laws, are meant to protect you, not restrict you. 

Then as we come back around to Dr. David Jeremiah, he speaks to what Godly love is.

What in this world is happening?  So much of the professing Church has indeed forgotten their first love.  So immersed in comfort they have said it without saying it that they don't need Jesus.  They want to feel good on Sunday's in song but the deep desire that ought to be there isn't there.  Sin has become more and more acceptable because most of the people in the so-called Church have no idea what God's Word says about it.  They haven't taken the time to read it to find out.  They don't know because it's no longer a priority.  They have forgotten their first Love.  It's also been so long that they have lost the ability to remember what that love was like when they first came to Christ. 
The Church at large has never really faced what the early Church had faced in terms of persecution.  The bulk of the people today both in the Church and outside of it view God and Jesus as a myth.  As having the attributes of the genie of the lamp in the story of Aladdin.  There are so few that truly serve, or even serve for the right reasons.  There's a great many people calling themselves Christians who have embraced the world in their theology.  Their love for Christ has grown cold.  The accusation by Jesus in Revelation is for all to take to heart.  God's Word is the plumb line. It's the speed square in carpentry. It's the absolute ruler to the architect. It's no open for personal interpretation. It's there to show us in no uncertain terms what right and wrong is. There is no picking and choosing. 

Look at your life.  Have you forgotten your first love?  Why is the Church so apparently ineffective today?  This would be why.  People want to say they want a revival.  A revival of the person who claims to be a Christian must come first. Those who return to their first love are those who can be used of God in the furthering of the Gospel.  I wasn't useful to Jesus until I was willing to put Him where He needed to be in my heart.  I had all kinds of ideas on how to serve.  But that wasn't His plan for me.  As Jesus said to Peter, so it was for me and is for you. "What is that to you? As for you, You follow Me!"

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