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The bloom of first love is such a beautiful thing. It gives a special fragrance to your entire life. You don’t want to eat. You don’t want to sleep. You desire to savor every last thought of the one you love. 


Remember that first love you had for the Lord when you discovered His amazing love for you? Surely, you recall that sweet feeling when He first lifted the heavy guilt of sin off your back, when you first realized that Jesus loved you so much that He died for you. Your heart naturally responded to that love. In those days, no sacrifice seemed too great to make for the Lord. In fact, you didn’t even consider it a sacrifice. Anything you could do for God felt like sheer joy. Remember the reckless abandonment of your life to Jesus because you loved Him so much? 


Some time ago I had a conversation with the members of the music group Love Song—one of the most popular bands of the Jesus Movement. We recalled the early days after they had first come to the Lord. They willingly traveled anywhere, just to sing for Jesus Christ. They had an old van and all they needed was a box of raisins, a pack of oats and some trail mix, and these guys could go on forever. They were willing and eager to go because they loved the Lord so much. The excitement of doing something for Jesus energized their happy, hippy hearts.


How long has it been since you felt a similar bloom of first love for Jesus? Has it been a while? Can you still remember? Too often, the march of life has a way of trampling our early experiences of joy and enthusiasm in Jesus. Bills come due. Illness intrudes. Relationships sour. Cars break down. Tragedy strikes. And before we know it, our love for Jesus shrinks to a cold, dry shell of what it had been before we knew the Lord.


And God weeps.


You can almost feel God’s tears when He asks His straying people, “What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, have followed idols, and have become idolaters?” And you clearly hear His anguish when He says, “Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be very desolate. For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:5, 12-13). The Lord lamented over ancient Israel because His people had left Him, their only source of life, in a futile attempt to find satisfaction in the things of the flesh. Predictably, they had become empty. 


So often in history, we have seen this sad pattern repeated. Men and women have sought after God and found Him. They began their lives of faith with great joy and excitement, but gradually their devotion waned until they turned their backs on the Lord and walked away. The reasons behind such spiritual wandering vary: misfortune, busyness, heartache, greed, disappointment, ambition, carelessness, and countless more—but there is only one sure cure—come back. We must allow the Lord to reignite our hearts for Him, that once more we might warm ourselves in the glow of His love. 


As God told His wandering people so long ago: “I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).


So may it be with each of us.


– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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