Your First Love
Greetings in the name of Jesus! This is Rob Haymes. This is 15 Minutes With Jesus. Today’s program is called Your First Love. Let’s turn to Luke 7:36-50, Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." So he said, "Teacher, say it." "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?" Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have rightly judged." Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." Verse 47, Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. This is a picture of your first love; the love you had for Jesus when you first came to Him; when you learned of how much He loved you, and that He gave Himself for you on the Cross for your sins; that your sins, which were many, were forgiven the moment you came to Him in true repentance and put your faith in Him. You saw the love that He had for you, and your heart was broken, and you were truly sorry for your sins. Many of you came to Jesus like this woman, weeping and loving on Him. He touched you, and you touched Him and ministered to Him. He set you free from your bondage to sin and forgave you, and you were so thankful! You loved Him like a little child, with all your heart. Do you remember?
He still loves you as much as He did that day. Do you still love Him?, with all your heart? Today, when I read this message in Luke, I started weeping, and the Lord gently showed me that I had left my first love for Him, and He led me to repentance.
In Rev 2:1-5, Jesus spoke to the Church in Ephesus, "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. Verses 4&5, Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works. If this is you, like He is doing with me, Jesus is speaking to you and saying, Remember; remember your first love. You have fallen from it. Yes, I know your works and your labor and your patience; how you cannot bear them that are liars; how you have labored for Me and not fainted. Nevertheless, I have something against you: you have left your first love: the fervent love which you had for Me at the beginning, when you first began to walk with Me. Remember! Remember! Repent, and return to your first love! If you won’t; if you will continue to harden your heart, I will come unto you quickly and remove your candlestick out of it’s place, except you repent. If Jesus removes His candlestick from you, you will be in darkness; His light will not be shining in you. The candlestick gives light. If we will repent and return to our first love, He will shine through us again. Our faces will once again be aglow with His love, and His love will be shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit to those people He has in our lives, and they will be drawn to Him. Jesus said, By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another. He said, This is My commandment, that you love one another. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends, and you are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you.
Remember when the scribe asked Jesus, Lord, which is the greatest commandment? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment, and the second is like, namely this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. The scribe said to Him, Well said teacher. You have spoken the truth. For there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, You are not far from the Kingdom of God.
1 John 1:1-10, That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. 1 John 2:1-6, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. In 1 John 3:16 we read, Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 4:7-11, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Perhaps you are like Simon, the Pharisee who invited Jesus to come have dinner with him. Jesus came into his house and he gave Him no water to wash His feet; he gave Him no kiss; he did not anoint His head with oil. Jesus came into his house, but he did not love Him very much; he did not minister to Him. He was a religious man, and he was not sinning, very much. He looked down on this woman who was a sinner, as she was weeping for her sins and ministering to Jesus, and loving Him greatly. Her sins were forgiven because she loved much. Simon was even looking down on Jesus, saying to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who, and what manner of woman this is that touches him, for she is a sinner.” I’m reminded about the parable that Jesus told about the publican and the Pharisee who went into the Temple to pray. Let’s turn there, Luke 18:9-14, Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." The Pharisee was righteous in his own eyes. He was not sinning, very much. He was a ”good man”, yet he was not justified. It was the publican, who humbled himself before God and said to Him, Lord! Be merciful to me, a sinner!, who was justified. He humbled himself before God, and he found grace in His sight. Some of us, even though we started with the Lord, like this publican, or like this woman who was a sinner, we have become more like the Pharisee; more like Simon. We go to Church; we labor for the Lord, and we have increased in knowledge, and in our position in the Church, and we have been lifted up and exalted in our hearts; we have left our first love. God is calling us to repentance! Remember, He said to the Church in Ephesus, from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works. Come back to your first love and minister to the Lord with all your heart; worship Him in Spirit and in truth; do the first works, loving Him and serving Him from your heart. Confess your faults to Him, and to one another; be cleansed by His precious Blood. Remember His love for you, and His sacrifice upon the Cross for you. Humble yourself and turn back to Him with all your heart, and He will receive you to Himself. And walk on with Him, as a little child, trusting Him, and doing His will from your heart. He loves you, and He wants you to love Him as He has loved you: with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, laying down your life for Him, and for your brothers and sisters, as He has laid down His life for you.