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Our First Love

Marc Swearingen



  • February 21, 2009
    4:00 PM
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what I like to do as I like to disclose when that when it what I feel is a very appropriate devotional thought I'd like you to turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter two Revelation chapter two Revelation chapter two my attorney now like to share something with you I can remember when I became a born-again Seventh-day Adventist Christian I mean I I was on fire France I mean I just this message just set me free and what I learned this message I purposed in my heart to commit it to memory and I studied four hours a day master key this message that we have and I can remember the Sabbath of my baptism I was elected I could sense God leading in a pop when I can remember it was an evening it was a Sabbath evening baptism after church you know a few hours at the church and I was sitting on the front row with another woman who is getting baptized with me and another gentleman I can remember her sitting there and she was looking at me and talk anything you know Mark am not sure if I'm making the right decision and I looked at her and I basically said well let's just get baptized and see what ended you know that when I was baptized I sensed the Holy Spirit come upon me in my heart with power another sometimes when it comes to the baptism of the Holy Spirit sometimes that baptism happens before the water baptism biblically and sometimes that baptism happens after the actual water baptism and sometimes it can also happen simultaneously to can happen gather my case it was at my baptism and of course we need to daily received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as we lay our hearts before body can every day but the friends I was on fire for this message I mean I'm masticated and shoot offense and just ingested this message because I wanted to commit to memory so that I was ever in a situation and I didn't even have a Bible I would be like a spiritual machine gun just pump it out text in defending the truth you know that it set me free and I was on fire friend I mean I was motivated and high-energy and high-octane and when people always tell me past them a lifetime of the past they say mocking up it just so on fire but then you know over time note is not the uppercut from the doublets did you wear you down and over the course of time you know I could sense that momentum lessening subtly the Whitney fire lessons you lose that momentum we begin to lose that first love you know the church at Ephesus in Revelation chapter two verse one had that problem and it was interesting when you start reading embers want to read that just a second but I can remember that that I have sensed my experience it so subtle over time to the point what I was in the mayor and the bathroom in front of the mirror one morning looking at myself in the mirror thinking what happened to me a manila soul on fire I was so about this message I know we're not supposed to go on feelings but even the spiritual energy and we and I can remember looking at at at myself in the mirror thinking happened to me you don't like the Holy Spirit doesn't like him describe you all week God speaks through our thoughts and the thought came to my mind your left and lost your first love you lost your first love in Ephesus Darren verse one was a church that went through that experience and I believe that that it if we are in danger or maybe even have lost our first law we can learn from the experience of ethicists to get that first love back let's unpack this just for a minute it says unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write these things saith he that hold the seven stars in his right hand who walk it in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks I know thy works and thy labor and by patients and how thou canst not bear them which are evil and thou has tried them which say they are apostles and are not as found them liars and has born and has patients and for my namesake is labored and has not fainted nevertheless I have somewhat against the because thou hast left thy first love remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first works or else I will come under the quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent but this thou hast that thou hate is the deeds of the Nick Layton 's which I also hate he that hath us any year let him hear what the Spirit saith under the churches to him that over comment will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God a friend that said it's a pretty lengthy passage but let's just take a moment to look at it notice that Jesus in verse one talks to the church at Ephesus for those of us who understand revelation you know that Revelation chapters two and three address the messages to the seven churches and I believe that there are three three Marathon parallel applications to what these churches represent first of all they were little churches in John's day that had real spiritual problems secondly they also line up and measure up with certain ethics and periods of church history beginning with Ephesus and ending with Laodicea from the time of Christ down to the end of time those seven churches line up with different phases of Christian church history but thirdly I believe that the spiritual problems but the seven churches faced Christians in all ages can enhance things and it's interesting to note that that that Jesus begins by by offering a description and he describes himself as he that hold at the seven stars in his right hand who woke up in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks in verse one now God 's right hand is a symbol of of upholding power sustaining strengthening and the stars can symbolize both angels and and and people in an and messengers in and I believe it here Jesus is saying look I'm still upholding you with my right hand still got you in my right hand I'm still in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks on still walking in the midst of the churches my presence is still there my presence is still available even when Laodicea even though Jesus is outside of the hearts of the Laodicean Christians by knocking on the doors they let me and he still assigned us at least walking in the midst of the church is even though we done a lot in many cases to try to greet them away still laboring for us is still striving forth where the apple of his eye he said how can I give thee up I still got you in my right hand and I'm still in the midst of the candle sticks and the notice in verses two and three dimensions six oh seven strong positive qualities about this church a church that was far at church that was desirable I checked that was on fire but then it's love began to wane before dealing with the issue Jesus packed fully affirm them in some strings you know I wonder if we would do well to do that when we have to deal with difficult people and address tough issues with if we should begin by affirming their strengths if they have any and then dealing with the issue I think we find a lot better conflict resolution if we didn't have that approach but notice that Jesus as I know thy works and thy labor and thy patience you see this church was a laboring church that exhibited much patient in tribulation it and Jesus said he saw those words and they said how thou canst not bear them which are evil and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not has found them liars see that they dealt faithfully with unfaithful teachers they remove them and did not allow them to deceive and mislead people they dealt faithfully with false doctrine when it came into the church back then and notice in verse three and they have born and has patients and for my name 's sake hast labored and is not made easy this was a persevering church they were part of the day did not fate necessarily but notice down there in verses four and five he gives them the issue he speaks to them about their spiritual challenge pieces nevertheless I have somewhat against the because thou has met my first love you see that was still functioning at capacity to assess the work of God but their hearts in the faith in their hearts have grown cold we and I'm not talking about an emotional passion of talk about a deep conviction type of passion and enthusiasm and motivation for the gospel waiting and had nearly come to a standstill and that was the issue that the Jesus was dealing with and he said love remember in verse five from therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first works or else I will come under the quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repair he said look remember from where you fell and come back and find me when you last left me where your faith last grew damped I'm waiting right there to come back and reconnect with me I would submit that that's a daily experience friends my wife and I went to Tampa to a convocation I think it was in two thousand one at two thousand two we didn't have children yet we admit my mom down every as I was doing evangelistic series in Clearwater Florida and have his big camper convocation on Sabbath and and and my wife I was sitting in the audience with my mom it was me and my wife was to my left on the other side of my life was my mother and my wife wasn't feeling well that day just stomach ache and as the sermon began on those kind guys where when someone starts preaching I will be focused on one be interrupted I want my Bible open one be masticating with their same way it out learning looking at the Scriptures ingesting what the man of God is been called to preach to the people of God out like distractions when the middle of my intense concentration where I'm learning an important truth my wife kept in the shoulders Jesus Honey my stomach hurts and this irritation with me husbands we pray for us watched a man amen brother thank you this irritation came up in me off because my will was also I did not want to be inconvenienced are interrupted with this ridiculous stomachache and so I look at my wife and I said and husbands learn from the wisdom am about to share with you I said to my wife I you sure it's not in your mind are you sure it's not all in your mind and my wife looked at me and she gave me a look like I cannot believe that you would say that to him and she didn't say it but you know when you get to know your spouse you need to look in their eyes we can it's almost like there's you can read each other 's minds in a sense you know I mean you know what the other person 's thinking right and and an ice and I thought myself and in the spirit stung me mnemonic like whoa it when you how to buy homes on the butt I was so irritated and God called me to apologize to say and not say honey I apologize no he won a music honey I'm sorry because you know my wife and I learned this about ladies women are built differently than men my what yes that's a revelation brought him with it no no but my wife I've learned is a very sensitive and she's not sensitive in and in a negative sense she doesn't get her feelings hurt too easily but she is very sensitive to how I respond to her as her husband and my wife just wanted to know that I was with her and sympathizer and I think women have a right to receive that from the husband wouldn't you agree not to many a menstrual husband but you know what I refuse a home on myself and apologize I looked over and my wife just said so Mrs. Leonard in he just wouldn't even look at me and she does not talk to my mom Amazon was like I'm not giving you that day right now because you just iced me so I went up in the Internet as you know Manos drained the Lord and in meanwhile the great controversies going in my heart got to go and apologize and say sorry what Lord doesn't she realize that when sermons are being preached I'm intense catchy figure it out and the Lord told me husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for the spirit began to bring those Texan amounts and that you are Christ to the church of your wife and you must learn to cheat your wife with self-sacrificing love putting her needs and her desires and her young comments in different things before you all the dignity to get input exactly because you know we need to treat our spouses like that and you see God was calling when Armageddon was raging in the soul God was calling me to surrender and go back to my wife remember from whence outfall and go back and do the first work because you hear these yachts of Donahue not you left the other undone you got a go deal with the left on the and if you want us to continue together you must go background waiting which is right beside your wife when you need to go in humble yourself so you need to repent and do the first wax as I went back there my wife you know what you want out of luck you know I said I said honey talking I was very insensitive my common I'm really sorry for that I just promoted into me I'm just irritated national right to be attended should of been there for you if I can always get the CD in the message if I really wanted them sorry it wasn't there for you when you needed me to sympathize with you could you ever forgive me for I did and you know and and and I was sincere friends I mean I really was sincere and I can see the walls of Jericho just collapse in her mind it was a Masonic Hall how can I stay mad at you and tedious and while I appreciate that I just wanted to know that you were with me just want to know that you are with me if you just said I'm sorry honey and sorry stomach hurts I would it is letting on you could even write back on the speaker and get your blessing to see friends that's an example of what it means when sometimes we leave our first look at yet we may have left our first love and in a long-term sense by leaving Jesus and pretty soon we find ourselves so far from Jesus as far as the trend of our lives I think a lot of times in the little decisions in life where were still profess consecrated Christians believe Jesus in little ways like that and Jesus wants us to be sensitive to those things and so maybe today God is speaking to you about maybe a situation where you need to repent and do the first original back to where you let Jesus and make some things right because friends if we start on that course those little choices turning the big ones and pretty soon over the course of an extended period of time where far from Jesus when Jesus wants us to be right there with an ethicist case they are lovely and Jesus called them back and he told them in verse five remember from whence our fallen repent and do the first works get back to where you left me or else I meant to come and remove the candlestick but that it's interesting in verse six Jesus ends on a positive note notice and in verses two and three he began on a positive note before you dealt with the issue many delegation and he ends up positive note to affirm his church you hate the doctrine of the Nikolay tunes and we could get into a whole diatribe about the niggling czar but let me some religious summit up their basic we may consist of a Gnostic sect of Christianity back then they believed basically all you got I do believe keeping God 's law doesn't matter all identity was intellectually believe I can do anything I want and still be safe that's basically the gist of what this movement believe in Jesus told them you have dealt faithfully with that belief system and friends we got sent on anybody today have to deal with that that that doctrine that threatens our borders as well were not safe I keep in the law but if we surrender to Christ the spirit of God rights the law hearts and minds and we live out God 's law the principles of God 's law because Christ is living within us so that is how the gospel works of God the gospel is about the complete restoration of the character of God may God 's character is defined by his law and when we surrender to Christ he writes that law hard to relate about the principles of the throne of the Godhead because we are in a saving experience with Jesus that's the proper relationship but he committed this church for dealing faithfully with that heresy in that day God is calling us to be faithful in dealing with that type of theology as well but notice also he encourages them in verse seven he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith under the judges otherwise listen to the voice of the Spirit prick your conscience and speak your mind and call you back to duty to get that first love back and then he promises a reward to the over comer to him at all but will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God so he promises the rewards of the over comer you will have access to the tree of life one day if you are overcome by the power of the Spirit of God your friends I think there's many reasons why people lose their first love commenting just a couple ion is not exhaustive list anything but I think there's a lot of reasons why people lose their first love but dramatic experience in life can sometimes derail someone's faith in God and that somatic experiencing help their faith the way that might be one situation that could cause someone to lose their first love also little compromises would sin over time can whittle away that first love also little or no devotional practices can also take away from our first month can cause us to lose our first month of also run into people being a pastor and him being done not Mister experience that had some expansion passing I have come across people that when they deal with with on Christlike professed Christians in the church they let that get to them to the point would actually it actually paralyzes their love for Christ that might be a situation where someone might lose their first love and maybe there are some in your diet at all and some of those categories but I do know that Jesus is calling us to get our first love back if we have lost so I'm in that bathroom in front of that mere the thought is in my mind you have left your first love remember from whence thou art fallen repent and do the first works and in one of the things I asked God was God what will I need to do to get that back in and the Lord began to reveal to me look you feel called into evangelism in your devotional time you spent time writing evangelistic sermons instead of spending time in the word drawing from the word as a sinner in need of a Savior there may be times in your closet where I will allow you to write evangelistic sermon an emotional time but that in its essence is not what you need right now you can write sermons later on during the day but what you need is to draw nourishment from the word as a sinner who needs a Savior nothing got told me was that my prayer life is suffering I felt that all I needed to do was study the Bible and so God began to tell me looking you to get on your knees and you need to praise like never before that I would fill your heart with the fullness of God another thing God Tommy was it was that my lifestyle practices were horrific at best I would start myself all day go preach evangelistic sermon they come home at night and stopped myself and I'm talking modestly and healthy meal about would thought to myself and club my mind I would wake in the morning version of feel like getting up and studied because I'm just in August all lethargic from when I did not trash my body the night before and not begin to tell me look you need to be temperate and you need to be asked don't kill your body with a late meal like that consistently at least in socialism of things of God began to show me and did you know I started to practice some of those things in that fire between back the first love the flame was really the power behind the desk begin to come back I began to understand that God wanted me to have that love him like I attended beginning I had to go back to where Jesus is waiting for me I was preaching my second evangelistic series accepted was later on the note that was the second one is later than that but be that as it may always still living at home and in my sister had moved back in with us I was my parents to get back on my feet because I gone through some problems in it was an item in evangelistic series and see when my sister move back home she brought her two small sons with her and she was working and so we has her family members had babysitting responsibilities you have different schedules in the day work for a couple hours your different family members would watch the boys while my particular shift on this day was to the four o'clock in the afternoon my mother was supposed to be home from work at four clock to relieve me so I could get ready for my evangelistic meeting that not in that meeting was about thirty to forty five minutes away as far as the drive was concerned so you can understand the sensitivity and time I had to make sure there was a proper buffer there's a lot to get ready and drive there and be ready to go so I did what every good man would do it but the boys down for a nap during my shift worked on my sermon for that not two thirty three o'clock and is a true story from to him being Mrs. this is straight truth ring I promise it is happening not exaggerating embellishing the story at all two thirty three o'clock three thirty four o'clock four thirty quarter to five distress is getting unbelievable on an unthinking mom where are you I hope in final clock comes in five fifteen and thick and meant I got a get out here where she would she comes home in a different piece of my mind how dare she make me late for an evangelistic series run a priest the gospel right and you know what I had this incredible idea I have childcare at the meetings I'll take them with me and I'll deal with her later right and then this to my mind you know what's can happen you to get the boys all loaded up in the car in a start the ignition and guess you can Paula and that's what happened I look at them in the car literally start a car and then my mom 's truck pulls up so I shut the car off I'm in the flesh I get out and and and I know that God and the angels must meant no note of that and I wanted to go and chastise my mom for it and any and it was a most like let's just take the kids out and go to meeting the same and I tried to stuff it down because I was in the flesh and did you know I just couldn't resist lesson thanks make a meal and I capped off at some comment thanks making the lake I really appreciate that really sarcastically my mom was asleep woke as I drove up to the meeting that night and guess what the topic was was preaching on heaven that night and you and you know is interesting is not kept telling me Mark you know you left me back there and I got when I know you know God bless the message tonight and I see this is what true Christianity is all about friends you might think this is fanatical but this is this is really with the rubber meets the road this is really with the battle against self ensues and so I'm preaching on heaven that night your thundering the truth you know and in the back of my mind is an unresolved issue I didn't have that freedom like a normally would have and I made a decision in my mind while in preaching the Lord I promise you I'll deal with this my get home I will I will apologize I will samsara and so when the meeting was over I drove home and I and my mother was still up and she was reading into his laying in bed reading so I went into her bedroom and said Monica talked interested sure what was going on and I said you really like this am sorry for the West bookie earlier Muslims stressed out because times can shorten really sorry and she said was like to apologize to you because my glasses broke today and had to go to the vision center to get my glasses I really needed them and it was a long line some things happened that caused me to be late and I should've called you a promise you can do it on purpose and really sorry for put in jeopardy man how can I be so selfish to speak to my mom like Pacino Jesus is waiting there and when it was reconciliation it was restoration and I think with all my heart friends and that's the level we need to take Christianity to your sure I'll I don't necessarily subscribe to the fact they were in and out of salvation every second week God does look at the trend of the life but but he wants us to have a trend of victory a series of uninterrupted victories and I believe that when we when we stray by making a mistake he gives us the space to repent if we if we repent in that window and what were we remaining Christ but if we then recess then we get onto into a gray area we start to take ourselves outside of Christ and then we become in jeopardy we can become endangered basically of a losing a relationship with God so we need to be very careful in our Christian walk it that were looking at them moment by moment choices friends because I really believe that that's without spot because that's what develops character is the consistent choice and have learned and him and believing him up as still make mistakes you know marriage has been a full-length mirror for me I really learned a lot about myself with Mike with my wife and my children the goddess help me to understand the gospel through my relationship with them and you know this wants to have an unbroken relationship with us he wants us to surrender unreservedly he doesn't want us to lose that first love he wants us to keep that first love and the only women to do it is if we stay surrendered in and when we attempted mediator even do deviate that week make sure that we make that right with him so where are you today have you lost a first love if you left Jesus somewhere and he's waiting for you he 's calling you back saying I signed my daughter come back to me that it together again remember from where you fallen and repent and do the first works when you go back to Jesus will you make the decision you need to make to get your first love that is we conclude this week I hope and pray that you will make that decision is that first love will set us free not free to live anywhere we want but it will set us free from sin and from guilt and help us to allow Jesus to live in the house so that people will see what we had and why people will see that we have something special and they will be drawing power so that something will awaken within them to want what we had that love has to burn and shine how many want to stay with me this afternoon I want to have that first month I want to have that first love God bless you let's conclude with a special season of prayer father in heaven thank you so much for striving with us thank you for being patient and merciful and long-suffering Lord many of us have gone through the experience of losing you as our first love I pray that you would help us if we have to get that back help us to realize that we must search you out when we last left you so help us Lord to begin the process of reconciling the deviations that we have had in our lives show us where you are Jesus convict us of what we need to surrender restore us into your image Lord and bless us with our first love back Lord thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this week I pray that as a result of what you been able to do this week your people have since the call to a higher consecration and commitment to you I pray that a revival has been kindled thank you for providing me this week Lord I pray that others have had that experience Lord as we leave this place now I do want to ask that you would help us to walk in this experience that you would not allow Satan to pull the seed of your word that's been planted in our minds but that that seed would fall on good soil and that it would grow in sprouting and bear fruit but the you've given us will be poured into new wine skins that as we decrease you will increase bless us to this experience we pray in Jesus name on


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