Summer traditionally takes place in the heart of wedding season. While the bride & groom are busy working out the details of the wedding a pastor is consumed with working out the details of a good marriage. One of the questions a pastor might ask is this: What makes a good marriage?
When asked this question in a survey, 90%of people respond with, “Being in Love.”When asked to follow up by describing what love is a consensus was not reached. So, what is love?
Love is about being FIRST. There is no second place when it comes to love. If a boyfriend tells his girlfriend, “I love you second best just not first,” their relationship will not last. The same is true of our relationship with God. If we love Him second best just not first it will not last. When we consider the way God loves us we cannot help but love Him the same.
God loves us with a FIRST kind of love. 1 John 4:19says, “We love (God) because He FIRST loved us.” We are God’s first and only priority. There is no one else & nothing else that even competes with us for His love. We are it. We never have to question His love for us. We do, however, need to question our love for Him. Do we love God the way He loves us? Do we love Him FIRST?Do we love Him ONLY?
In Revelation 2:4, Jesus held one thing against the Church at Ephesus: “You have forsaken your FIRST love.”It was not that the Ephesians had stopped loving Jesus. It was that Jesus was no longer theirFIRST love. He was no longer their ONLYlove. He was a love among many.
As we celebrate the 4th of July it is a good time to evaluate our love for God and our love for country. For many Americans, the two go hand and hand. They cannot separate one from the other. True love is never a shared love. Can we love God and love our country? Yes, we can. But, our love for country can only come out of a love for God. It cannot be in competition with Him.
The 4th of Julyalso means we are over halfway through 2018. It is a good time for us to take an inventory of our schedules, our finances, and our hearts.Is God our ONE & ONLY or ONE among MANY? True love is never a shared love. Does that mean we cannot love our families? No, it does not. Rather, it means our love for others must first come from our love for God. It cannot and should not be in competition with His love.
Even when our love for God is not what it should be, God’s love for us is always FIRST. May our love for Him be the same.
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jonathan & Sara