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Christian Life

Bible Study: Do You Need to Rekindle Your Passion for God?

With Valentine’s Day coming, love has been on my mind a lot. Today, as part of my devotional reading, I read a portion of Scripture that deals with things that can distract us from our first love.

I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first (Revelation 2:2-5a NLT).

That is from the letter to the church of Ephesus in Revelation. In this letter that the Lord instructs John to write, He praises the Ephesian church for their good works, patient endurance of suffering and their use of wisdom and discernment. However, the Lord has a complaint to register with the Ephesian church: They have lost their first love.

Doesn’t that sound heartbreaking? For any of you girls who have been in love, you can imagine how tragic the loss of a first love is. I originally read this in the New Revised Standard Bible. I used the New Living Translation here because while most traditional translations just say “you have lost your first love,” the NLT clarifies that phrase a little bit. The Ephesian church has lost their first passionate love–not only for Christ, but for other people as well.

Sometimes I am so caught up in all the things I have to do that I forget about the people I’m doing them for. I forget that my motivation for doing is supposed to come from Him. I love Him and that love spills over into love for other people, the special creation that He loves so desperately.

That is the reminder Jesus Christ wanted John to deliver to the Ephesian church. They’d become so wrapped up in doing good works and patiently enduring suffering that they’d forgotten why they started doing those things in the first place.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus didn’t say “do good works and endure patiently”:

And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-39 NASB).

The Ephesian church once had this fiery love for God and people, but that love had cooled off a bit. It’s so important that we check the state of our hearts regularly to make sure our fiery love for God and people has not cooled. If it has, then we need to pray and ask God to rekindle it so it burns as hot and bright as it did in the beginning.

Do you need God to rekindle this passionate love in your heart?

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Image: veer | JohnKwan

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16 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Joyfulnotes on May 27, 2013 at 23:18

    This is something I really needed to hear today. I have been doing what the church in Ephesus was doing. I was doing the works, but my love for people was not stemming from the passionate love for God that I have. I need to rekindle the love, and this reminded me of that. Thank you!

  2. Lillian

    Posted by Lillian on February 7, 2013 at 21:17

    Dear Lord, please, I know I was once a burning fire for you- but know I have decreased the size of my flame. Lord, please, guide me in the right direction and bring me back to where I once was. With love, Amen

  3. Paris

    Posted by Paris on February 4, 2013 at 23:20

    Daddy,please help me to grow in my relationship with you again.The enemy is really trying to hold me back,and I need you to help me fight him off.Help me to start praying regulary and break my bad habits. These are the things that need to happen so that I can grow and love you like I used to. I need your help.I can’t do this without you. In your PRECIOUS name,amen.

  4. Lexi7

    Posted by Lexi7 on February 3, 2013 at 11:32

    This is beautiful, I’ve never thought about it that way before. Thanks for writing this! 🙂

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by musicislife on February 3, 2013 at 11:11

    I need to rekindle my love for God.

  6. Deeblves3

    Posted by Deeblves3 on February 2, 2013 at 20:43

    Thank you for this article, it is something I had really needed to hear tonight. ♥

  7. hlaluvzjesus

    Posted by hlaluvzjesus on February 1, 2013 at 05:07

    Dear God,

    I just ask you to make me want to seek you even more and more everyday!! And that I can become a better use for You and the fact that I could live my purpose for Your Glory!!!

    Amen 🙂 <3 <3

  8. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on January 31, 2013 at 13:38

    this is so true! thank you for writing this! did the LORD JESUS tell you to write this? because HE realy spoke to me through this. i have for a couple of days been turning away from GOD and doing what i want and being mean to people and trying to make them feel bad. i even sang a song about how JESUS deserved to die on the crosss and hees the worst part i didnt even realize what a mistake that was! and i could here i think JESUS speak to me through this telling me to come back so thhank you and thank YOU JESUS! for dying on the cross for our sins even though you didnt deserve to die on the cross.

    • Posted by JennArman on February 1, 2013 at 10:50

      unicorns4567 – Yes, the Lord put it on my heart to write this. I was very touched by the idea of losing a first love. I remember when my first boyfriend broke up with me and how hurt and sad I was. Then I thought I wonder if that’s how God starts to feel when we begin to lose our fiery love for Him. God’s love for us NEVER cools off! He NEVER loves us less! I’m so glad that the Lord Jesus used this article to speak to you sweet girl. That is always my prayer, that God would use these articles to speak to your hearts <3.

  9. jessicarose

    Posted by jessicarose on January 31, 2013 at 06:53

    This is so good! I’m reading a book right now that really had to do with extreme fire and passion for God and this follows right along with it! Thank you! 🙂

  10. emerald

    Posted by emerald on January 31, 2013 at 06:50

    VALENTINES IS NOT supposed to be celebrated if you look at the history of it-it’s not a good thing…..well am 15 never have celebrated valentines….because theres no where in the bible it says to do so. just saying it’s not cool couples can give each other gifts wihtout valentines day oh well and am not saying this cuz i got no one for the day …..just saying well bye my opinion so dont start commenting stuff that are useless back cuz i’ll just ignore ok??? yaweah bless

    • Posted by JennArman on January 31, 2013 at 11:42

      Emerald – I’m not trying to endorse Valentine’s Day in this article however, many people choose to celebrate love on that day and we need to be aware not only of the truth behind things, but of what people think as well.

      The point of the article does not have to do with Valentine’s Day, it has to do with passionate love for God and for the people He has created. Whether or not I agree with or celebrate Valentine’s Day, I am aware that other people choose to do so and that many people associate the idea of love with Valentine’s Day. I hope that gives you a little clearer understanding of why I mentioned it in this article.

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by on January 31, 2013 at 06:03

    🙂 Dear Lord, give me a new heart. Renew your spirit in me and in all these girls. Keep us strong against what brings us down. Help us cling to you when we need you and even when we feel we don’t. Help us love you and one another. Help melt our hardening hearts because we aren’t perfect and we aren’t always doing to do the right thing. Lord, basically give us your strength to love those you hate us and to help those who would kill us because you gave us something powerful- your love and it deserves to be shared. 🙂 <3 <3 🙂 <3 <3 🙂