Monday, May 9, 2011

First Love Reconsidered?

Have you ever wondered about what has happened to the Body of Jesus that we liberally call "the church'? I'm not saying that I have all of the answers but just perhaps scripture can give us some insight.

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lamp-stands, says this:

I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.

'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp-stand out of its place--unless you repent. Revelation 2:1-5

First love? What is first love and how has the church of Jesus left it behind?

Perhaps you have experienced a new believer that is so excited about his new faith that he is giddy and wants to tell everybody about it? Maybe you were once there yourself. Certainly, there was an overwhelming dose of this kind of experience for all of those in the first days after the church was born.

The amazing thing about that "first love" was that it came with little burden for the facts or responsibility for "defending" their new faith. It just simply didn't matter!

So what has happened? Week after week, and sometimes day after day, we listen to teaching about what the Bible has to say about every topic known to mankind. The problem is not in the learning of facts but that the learning of facts seems to divert our attention from our "first love".

One glaring example of this diagnosis is this. (And here I will do a little ranting for a moment).

Why, oh why, oh why does most of Christendom continue use the title for who Jesus was rather than His actual name? Over and over again I hear Christians teach about some great spiritual lesson and they automatically default to the title of Christ rather than the name of Jesus.

but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31

True life is in His Name; not in His title!

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

With God placing such emphasis in the Name of Jesus why is the title of Christ or preeminent in Christian teaching today? It seems to me to be preferred to use the title over the name. So much so is the overuse of the term Christ that it now rankles me just to hear it used.

Yes the Church of Jesus, universal, has left its first love!

How about you? Are you more in love with Him than yesterday? Relationships are delicate creations. They can not simply roll along without attention!

Jesus is worth the attention! Jesus is worth being recommended! He is the Christ but His name is Jesus!

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