PSALM 59:16–17 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”
Yes, the Christian life is hard. Actually impossible. Yes, the Christian life is exhausting; spiritually, physically, and emotionally for it places the highest demand upon a person–complete and continual self-denial for the interests of Christ and others. And during the difficulties in the Christian life, we must face the ever-present temptation to spiritually drift into a state of indifference, spiritual lethargy, and the allowance of a lukewarm heart. These always precede the worst condition Christians may find themselves in–a loss of first love for the Lord Jesus. He would identify and warn us of this condition and the lukewarm heart producing it in two letters to two churches found in the Revelation.
First the sad presence of a lukewarm heart. Writing to the church at Laodicea, Jesus said, “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked”(Revelation 3:14-17). The “scary” part of these words from our Lord is the people having a lukewarm heart were oblivious to its presence! Christian, be on guard–always. When we start losing zeal and spiritual appetite for the Word, prayer, and church, our hearts are showing the initial steps toward a lukewarm heart.
Next, Jesus describes where a lukewarm heart takes us–the worst of spiritual conditions possible; loss of first love for Him. In our Lord’s Words, “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.“ ‘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. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first (Revelation 2:1-4). This also is “scary” to the soul, yet, it goes farther. A Christian can “do” church, be faithful in a ministry of service, live a moral life, not be engrossed in heinous sin, even read the Bible, and have the Lord say, “You left your love for me. You have given Me second place in your affections. You have chosen the world over me.” Isn’t that chilling to the heart? And that is what loss of first love says to Him!
Well, how do we prevent a lukewarm heart leading to the loss of first love? Today’s scripture. Frequently meditate on God’s steadfast love. This is a consuming thought in David. Twice he mentions it and pay attention how he starts his day–praising God for His steadfast love. To prevent loss of first love resulting from a lukewarm heart, think often and long on God’s steadfast love. The more we are consumed with His love for us, the more our love intensifies for Him, and not only intensifies but is guarded from decay or loss of its first love fervency. Here is the prevention of a lukewarm heart–be lost in amazement over God’s incredible and steadfast love for us!
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your amazing steadfast love that never ceases toward me.”
QUOTE: “The greatest sustainer and motivator to live the Christian life is being loved by God.”
Because of Him,