Why does spiritual passion fade so easily? When we first experience God’s love, we spend hours thinking about Him, studying His word, and telling others how much He means to us. Then it happens. Our busy schedule slowly dampens our passion. Before we know it, our longing for Jesus and our study of His character becomes an occasional glance. Surely the object of our affection hasn’t changed. The church at Ephesus wrestled with maintaining its spiritual passion. Jesus wanted to help them restore and maintain their love and zeal for Him.
Although He commended this church for their work, Jesus saw that they had abandoned their first love (Revelation 2:4). The Ephesians had lost their spiritual passion for Jesus. It had become a cold and mechanical orthodoxy. I wonder if they had allowed the stealthy culprit of religion and business to enter their hearts. Whatever it was, something had stolen the affection they had once reserved for the Lord. Have you allowed something to steal your passion? If so, it can be restored and maintained when you consistently remember His amazing love demonstrated at the cross. You need to repent your sinful, unloving attitudes and out of the love for Jesus repeat, “First works” (Revelation 2: 5).
In Acts 17, Paul went to Mars hill to declare the truth of the resurrection. Many listeners gathered though there were not spiritual seekers. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, records that they spent their days simply wanting to discuss the new ideas, with little interest in acting on what they learned. Too much information can be dangerous. Many ideas can blur and cause us to become incoherent, leaving us unchanged by what we know. The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
The Christ-followers on the road to Emmaus would have agreed (Luke 24: 32). “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened scripture to us?” As they grieved the death of Jesus, the risen Christ Himself joined them but hid his identity. He began instructing them on the ancient prophecies of those events found throughout the Old Testament. Later that day, Christ revealed Himself to them and then departed.
After Jesus’ departure, they marveled at what they heard. The things He taught were not sterile facts but a fire that kindled their hearts with devotion for Him. Similarly may we trust the shepherd of our souls to kindle our hearts as we grow in His word. As we walk along the road of life, we can sense that Jesus is there too. As we read His word and hear His voice we will find He rekindles fire anew. You cannot start a fire in another’s heart till it is burning in yours. When someone loves another, there is a compelling desire to express it. Hence those timeless words: “How do I love thee?”
Think back to the Lord’s special work in your life or call on Him for today’s needs. Then back to the Psalm of love: “I will love You, O Lord, my…” Therefore, to renew your love for Christ, review Christ’s love for you.
Published on January 2013