Coffee doesn't ask silly questions. Coffee understands!
I woke up before my alarm this morning, and my body refused to go back to sleep. I'm actually thankful now that I'm up though, because I really do love the morning. I don't love having to wake myself up, and I don't love how I rarely ever feel rested, but I love the stillness. The only thing I hear is the clicking noises of my laptop keyboard and the occasional little sips I take of my coffee. And the cars. It isn't loud or obnoxious at this time of day, but Charlotte roads seem to never sleep. At 6 a.m. I hear their constant movements outside my living room window.
I wish the stillness would just keep going, yet I know it won't. Soon I will be leaving for work and I will find myself fighting road rage. But I anticipate a good week, after having a great weekend.
Over the weekend, Taylor's parents came for a visit. They arrived late morning on Saturday. We spent the day in Charlotte eating and then going to Freedom Park. Then in the evening we played Trivial pursuit and hung around the house. The next morning we went to an awesome church service and then had a delicious lunch.
We wish we could see his family more, but we are very thankful that we got some time with them this weekend. It was so nice!
I mentioned the church service- it was amazing! We are choosing between two churches now, but we are really leaning towards the one we went to yesterday.
The message was on Revelation 2, and how the church in Ephesus was doing so many things right-they were persevering and standing against evil, and calling out false teachers. But despite all of their standing firm, they had lost sight of their love for Jesus. They were doing all these things for Him, and yet in their hearts, the Savior himself was no longer their first love.
I think that for a lot of Christians, this is very easy to do. We get so caught up in doing things for Jesus that we forget to love Him with our hearts- with a passion. Sure, good works for Jesus are a sign of love for Him, if we have the right heart about it. Jesus calls us to good works and acts of service, because that is the right way to live, and it does show love for Him. But at some point, we have to realize that our works don't make Jesus love us any more, and our works can't be allowed to make us weary and passionless. Our works are a symbol of our love for God, but they aren't the entirety of our love.
The pastor explained it like this yesterday: What if your spouse came up to you and said, "You know, I admire you so much. You are such an amazing, strong person and you do all these good things. You always keep the house clean, you always help me out, and you always encourage me... but I just don't feel like you love me anymore". Wow! How powerful is that?! I know it would break my heart if Taylor ever felt that way, but it should break my heart even more to know that I often make Jesus feel this way!
Now again, don't get me wrong. God says that if we love Him, we will obey His commands (John 14:15). So obviously, it wasn't that the church in Ephesus didn't love God at all-as far as I can surmise. But Revelation 2 does seem to suggest that they had lost sight of a deep love for Jesus. They probably were running on autopilot. They were trying to do the right things for God, but they had lost their passion for Jesus. They had lost sight of the relationship part of the equation. They were just going through the motions.
I don't want to be like that- yet I know I am very often. I also have a feeling I am not alone. How many of us run on autopilot with our faith? The gospel must be practiced actively in us each day. Let us start remembering who Jesus really is, and let us never forsake our first Love. If we have, the Bible calls us to repent.
So let's repent. Let's ask God to bring our hearts to a place where He is always our first love. And let's do all the right things still- but for the right reasons, and in proper priority in comparison to our first Love- Jesus.