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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Firsts!

This afternoon, I had my first swim in the lake, at Le Chêne du Lac, for this year.  Indeed, I am the first person, this year, to have swum all the way to the far side!   I would have swum back - but although the sun was shining brightly, and was very warm, the temperature of the water still leaves a little to be desired!

There's something about 'firsts'.   I may not remember my first spoken word; or my first step.  I can't even recall my first day at Primary School.  However, there are many firsts that I do remember - and do so quite vividly. 

I remember my first time on stage, as an elocutionist and; not long afterwards, as an actor - on both stage and radio!  I remember my first day as a young commis chef.  I remember my first date in a (friend's!) car.  I remember my first day at the Bible Training Institute, in Glasgow.  I remember my first preached sermon.  I remember my first Sunday as a Student Assistant in St.Paul's Parish Church, Milngavie.  I remember the birth of my first child (and, of course, of my second!).

I even remember my first love, and my first kiss!  She was not the girl to whom I was, eventually, married, and with whom I have spent almost forty-five years - through 'thick and thin'.  I remember my first day as a husband.

The Bible has something to say about 'first love'.  In the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to the aged apostle, John, we read of the words of the risen Saviour to the church in Ephesus: "... I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." (Rev 2:4; NIV).

It's sad when a couple separate, or divorce, because they have lost that "first love" that brought them together.  It is even sadder when one who has professed love for the Lord Jesus, becomes cold, and careless.  Yet I have seen it happen with so many - both the loss of human 'first love', and the loss of love for the Lord Whom the person had once served with great zeal.

Can the loss of 'first love' be avoided?  I believe that it can.  The secret, I would suggest, is in communication.  It is as we share with our spouses that we are kept close to one another.  It is as we share with Him that we are kept close to the Lord.  That involves both the regular (i.e. daily!) reading of His Word, and regular prayer in which we listen as well as talk!

In His words to those Ephesian believers, the Lord Jesus began by complimenting them.  "I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but 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." (Rev 2:2-3).  This indicates, to me, that it is possible to continue to live what appears on the outside to be an active Christian life - but that is really just a sham.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, I wonder what all of this says to you!  Are you merely going through the motions - or is your walk with Him still sweet, and strong, and sure?  Have you lost your 'first love' - or are you still as much in love with Him as you were when you first opned your heart, and life, to Him; and received forgiveness of your sins, and new life in Him? 

I trust that the latter is true for you - and for me!

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