The other day I posted the following thought on Twitter:
It is possible to follow the directives of Jesus faithfully yet fail to worship him. Matthew 28:16-17
My team-mate and friend John Hunt posted Revelation 2:2-4 on FB in agreement and response.
“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:2-4
This verse got my wheels turning….what do you think? Here was my addition to the thought.
That verse fits great here. I was looking for verses like this recently as some of the guys and I were talking about verses like the one you posted. I have been reading about the place for warnings in the believers’ life and how God uses them to preserve us…really amazing concept when taking into consideration the doctrines of grace, sin, the attributes of God, the work of the Spirit in our lives and our constant call to faith and repentance. God lovingly pushes us towards repentance of our works and non-works through his warnings, biblical narratives and Spirit. Works only leaves us with the illusion of a great scorecard that points to self and in the end is worthless showing us that we are without love and Jesus. Faith and repentance do not leave us neutral in our hearts, they leave us filled with faith, hope and LOVE! In other words, faith and repentance do not just remove the ugliness of us leaving us clean, but God uses warnings…and in his kindness leads us to repentance…showing us that we are filled with him by him, we are his… which moves us towards an enduring life of love and good deeds.
As we know, faith and repentance in the life of a true believer is not constantly asking God to give us salvation but it is a life filled with knowing and loving that we are saved(in all it’s tenses) which helps us to constantly turn from ourselves to him.
I imagine myself sitting with friends and family and hearing Jesus say this:
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Revelation 2:2-4
Do I grumble, get angry demanding my rights to what I think I have earned…or do I gasp in the realization that I have been abandoning the love I had for him at first and run to him like Peter and weep as I cling to him? A new creation heart will always cling to it’s creator, sometimes quickly sometimes not so quickly.
Isn’t that the heart’s desire of idols? To capture our love away?
May we not get so caught up in good deeds that we miss our good God and fail to love and worship him!