Sometimes, it seems like the simplest things in the Bible are the ones I miss. Is it because of its very simplicity that I think there must be more to it? The specific “it” to which I refer in this post is what believers in Christ refer to as first love.
For much of my Christian life, when people spoke of their first love experience with Jesus, it was with the understanding that they wanted to return to those feelings of love, and the actions they produced for the Lord. I felt almost sub-Christian in these conversations. You see, my salvation experience was so different from what is considered normal, that I didn’t even know I was saved until years after the fact. During a particularly moving pre-Easter service, more than a decade later, I actually said to the Lord, “I know I am saved, but when did it happen?” (See my testimony for the rest of that story.)
Revelation 2:4 . . . You have forsaken your first love.
When I received Jesus, I didn’t feel that overwhelming love. Through the years, as I fellowshipped with believers who referred to that honeymoon period of their first love with the Lord, I felt I had missed out on something. Did God withhold from me for some reason? Of course He didn’t, but it took a while for me to know that. Instead of that initial overpowering experience with His love, I came to know and grow, little-by-little, in the depth and length and height and breadth of it.
All this time, it’s not been about my love for Him, but His love for me. The more I know the love of God in Christ for me, the more I want to know of His love. And, the more I know of His love for me, the more I love Him and everyone else. His love – alone – is the first love. Isn’t this so wonderfully and amazingly simple?!
1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.