Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Human Suffering, Injustice and the Christian Response – Part 3

But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”  Ac ts 17:5-7

“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. 2 “‘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. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.  Revelation 2:1-5

A. What We Must Recover: First Love for Jesus Christ

1. First Love Defined

The love of God in the heart of the believer that empowers him or her to faithfully obey the Great Commandments to love God, our neighbors and the one another commands in the body of Christ.

2. First Love Present

a. Newness of First Love

– New desires in life: 2 Cor. 5:17

– New direction for life: Phil. 1:21-22

b. Enthusiasm of First Love

– Zealous love for God’s Word: Psalm 119:14, Psalm 119:127, Psalm 119:20

– Zealous love for Prayer: Acts 1:12-14, Acts 2:1, Acts 4:23-31

– Zealous love for Fellowship

– With other first love believers: Psalm 119:63, Rom. 1:11-12, 1 Thess. 2:8, 2 Tim. 1:4, Philemon 7, 22

– With the Lord Himself: Psalm 63:1-3, Phil. 1:21-24, Rom. 12:10

– Zealous love for the Lost: Romans 10:1, Psalm 126:5-6, Matt. 9:35-38

– Zealous love for Christ-likeness: Psalm 17:15, Phil. 3:10

c. Objects of First Love

– God: Matthew 22:36-39, 1 Peter 1:8

– God’s people: John 13:33-34

– Lost sinners: Matthew 11:19