2020, the Year of our ” First Love”

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What is this First Love?

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4: 7-10, KJV).

God is love and he manifested this love by sending his only Son to die for our sins. Therefore,  we can say that Jesus Christ is our First Love because he loved us first, before we even met him and gave his life for us that we might have eternal life.

The state of your First Love

When we go into relationships that are intimate, some result in courtship and marriage, some are just friendships. There is a sparkle in such relationships that we seek and yearn for the presence of the other person. We share secrets, we share time, we nurture one another and make one another happy and comfortable.

We discover each other’s needs, likes, hates, strengths, weaknesses and avoid things that can bring conflict or sabotage the relationship. We defend one another, encourage one another, build one another up, look forward to time together.

And there come seasons where it begins to feel like winter in the relationship, its cold. Oh, no…. winter is not fun for some people. They begin to bundle up, cover up, forget the sparkle, and just focus on the day- to-day.

Are you in the winter of your relationship with Jesus? What has made you cold? Is your heart covered with layers that you have forgotten your first love? You have forgotten how your heart used to beat when you know it’s time to meet your love? His love doesn’t penetrate because your heart is layered, and your focus is on day-to-day.

Prior to winter is Fall season. The leaves are falling it’s dry and things begin to get dormant. We find that this season we may have become too familiar with our first love that our relationship turns dormant. We feel dry, we are not making new efforts to renew, to get more spiritual and physical resources to store up for winter; because guess what, winter will come. The bible says, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22, KJV). Fall is the season for storage, harvest, and when things begin to slow down in preparation for winter.

Is the state of your love at the spring season? I love spring. This is the time to start planting. Seeds take root and vegetation begins to grow. It’s getting warmer and its wet. There is burst of life in animals, even with newborn and animals that have migrated due to harsh weather conditions begin to make their way home with their newborn. The bible says, “Yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.” (Job 4:19, KJV). Water here represents life, Holy Spirit, and Word of God. The spring of your relationship with your first love is when you perceive and receive signs of water, I mean new burst of his Spirit, whispers of His Word which will bring you growth.

Are you at that state where you find a small yearning to know the Holy Spirit, thirsting for the Word, and live for Jesus? Waoo this is an exciting time in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Please cultivate this relationship because your love for Him is about to spring forth.

Summer season is where everywhere is bright, beautiful, sunny and fruits are at blossom stage. It is also the honeymoon phase, when you first met your first love. You love going out with your love because its bright, birds are singing, the lovely smell of the flowers, it doesn’t get dark quickly. Oh, talk about the heat… it’s fiery and great. All you want to do is spend time outside with your love and show off your first love and your relationship. Maybe this is when you first heard the call of Jesus to your heart. You accepted his call and the relationship with your love started. Your heart yearns for Him. You want to show him off to your friends and family. You can’t wait to spend time with him, to listen to his words. You offer him gifts (praise, offering, service) and adore time together. It’s a match made in Heaven….

The seasons will come and go in life as this is certain in Genesis 8:22; but should that make you forget your first love? The situations of life may seem overwhelming like winter season, when it’s cold and I mean bone chilling cold due to sickness, job losses, marital problems, parenting, and caring for a sick loved one. All these issues can sure make the relationship go cold because we are distracted by the burdens of daily living.

For some women, it may be hormonal changes like menopause that hits you real hard and you are wondering what happened to your body when you begin loose your hair, memory, and loose track of events in your life. It may seem like things are falling apart and you get cold.

You are trying hard but without your first love. You try to study the bible without him. How could you? When the love was burning with fire, you both studied together. You would invite him to come and study the bible with you. You would pray together with your first love and he would whisper sweet words of comfort in your ears. Your first love was invited to your meals, outings, and every details of your life. Your first love is interested…. But suddenly due to the seasons and challenges of life you begin to try too hard and I hear Jesus say, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 2: 2-4, KJV).

I also hear Jesus say, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30).  Jesus doesn’t want you to go through the seasons of life on your own. He wants you to come to Him and bring all the burdens of daily life to Him alone… He wants you learn from Him; however, he will not force his love on you. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20). Jesus is offering love of communion with, if you will open the door of your heart to Him alone today.

Practical ways to maintain your relationship with your “First Love”

Expectancy

You need to expect and thirst for this first love. The hormone responsible for us in feeling good called dopamine and this dopamine is generated in the brain when there is expectancy or a longing for an event, something, or someone. You need to go to bed each night expecting the Lord Jesus, expecting to hear Him whisper to you in the morning. Expecting Him to be at your side all the way holding your hand. The bible says, “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.” (Proverbs 10:24). If you desire your First Love, He will be with you always.

Thirst

There should be a sincere thirst for your first love according to Psalms 42: 1-2. If you are thirsty, you will be filled as described in Matthew 5:6.

Intentionality

You will need to make an intentional effort that this relationship will work and that you will prepare for all seasons in your life that may come. Remember summer doesn’t last forever and you need to prepare for spring, fall, and winter seasons of your life. This intentionality will look like taking time to seek him early in the day in prayers, worship, fellowship, communion or setting aside a quiet time to know him in his word. It many involve sitting quietly in his presence to just hear him whisper or talk to you and just absorb his presence and love.

This intentionality can sound like you singing love songs to him at every point in time of your day, talking out loud and professing your love for him and thanking him for discovering you, loving you and dying for you. It could also feel like paying attention and being mindful to every moment you have and that he is there always because God is ever present; the Jehovah Shammah. If he is ever present and lives in you, you carry his presence with you wherever you go and so you are not alone, you can feel him with you always even though you don’t physically see him.

Faith

You need to have faith and believe His Word. He is the Word. Please believe Him always. The bible says, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19, KJV). This scripture is describing the virtue of Faith as necessary for Christ to dwell in you and for you together with other believers understand the love that Jesus has for you.

Holiness

Jesus said, Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, KJV). We need a pure heart for Jesus Christ to dwell in us and for this relationship to work. God is love and he manifested this love though Jesus Christ who came to die for our sins. Without holiness no one can see God. We need to ask in prayers and by being intentional to keep away from the things that are of the flesh and will prevent us from being holy. According to Galatians 5: 19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (KJV).

Finally, my dear sister in Christ, are you willing to revive, restore, and renew your relationship with your first love? Or are you just meeting Him for the first time and would like a taste of this First Love? Jesus our First Love is always ready and near to accept us into His arms. Together as sisters in Christ we are going to revive, restore, renew, and ignite our first love with Jesus Christ.

Please meditate on the scriptures below as a guide to renew, restore, revive, and ignite your first love with Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:4-5

Psalm 42:1-2

Psalm 34:8

Psalm 36:7-9

Psalm 84:1-2

Psalm 90:1

Psalm 91:1

John 15:4

1John 4:8

Nehemiah 8:10

Isaiah 51:12

Exodus 15:26

Isaiah 54:5

Author: Deborah Emmanuel-Ighodaro

Deborah is pastor’s wife of RCCG Open Heavens Chapel Edmonton. She has a desire in empowering women causes spiritually and in a holistic manner. She serves alongside her husband as a co-Pastor; working in the women, and children ministries.