The First Love

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 16. Revelation 2:4.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Rev 2:4). Doubtlessly, you love Him, but which place does this love for Jesus hold in your life? In Ephesus, there were so many important things, and the same was true for the believers. Ephesus was a wealthy commercial city, a hub of the Orient offering many possibilities. Over time businesses, work, relationships, and leisure activities began to occupy first place. Are you in the process of granting first place to something other than Jesus, and losing the first love? The first love is nothing more than the willingness to suffer. Suffering is greater than works. The greatest significance of a grain of wheat doesn’t lie in itself, but in its death. Therefore, “first love” means the willingness to actually share in death; i.e., the love that was exhibited on the Cross. Which place, then, does love for Jesus, the Crucified One, hold in your life?

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,” says the Lord. So-called infrastructure can swallow up so much in our lives. So many banal things come first. An illustrative example of this is the Olympic Games. These few weeks cost billions of dollars each time. One journalist rightly called this bordering on ridiculous. The outlay was and is, in increasing measure, far too great in proportion to the result.

What is the relationship between actual first love for the Lord, and the effort in your daily life? Will you be completely absorbed by the day-to-day, by the hustle and bustle, and your material thoughts? Does love for the Lord Jesus rank toward the bottom, or has it disappeared entirely? Because so many lose their first love, we haven’t yet had a sweeping revival. There are millions of people in eternal damnation because first love for the Lord is no longer burning, because the children of God aren’t ready to do the full will of God. Obedience toward the Lord and love for Him are inseparable. The magnitude of God’s will in relation to His great love emanates from His own cry in Hosea 14:5: “I will love them freely.”

Your sphere of action has shrunk so much because you’re not ready to do the Lord’s will; because your first complete love doesn’t belong to Him. He Himself said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21a).

Why did the Word of God penetrate the first Christians—the first church—so powerfully? Did God grant them a special awakening? No. God is always the One who blesses, always the One who grants life. But the first Christians didn’t love themselves, their property, their money. Quite the opposite: they shared everything between themselves; they gave everything away. They did the will of God to the fullest extent—and the Gospel spread.

But through the loss of our first love, the will of God will no longer be accomplished on earth. The Lord Jesus prayed for its fulfillment: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).

Midnight Call - 01/2021

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