“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
Who or what is your first love? This is a question I need to ask my self everyday because if I am not careful, I can find myself saying, “Jesus is my first love”, but not living it out!
God see’s and judges the heart. If we lead worship on Sunday mornings with estranged hearts, then what we bring is simply lip service and a worthless offering. Think about it, if somebody says, “I love you”, but they don’t actually care for you and they don’t do anything to demonstrate that love, the words are empty and meaningless. So how do we set our hearts and lives ablaze with passion for Jesus? Pursue Him! Practically this means looking at what we value and love most in our lives. He should be the center, He should be our first love.
Love is a verb, an action lived out through decisions we make every day. If you want to know what you love the most, look at the clues. What do you spend the majority of your free time doing? What do you think about most? What are you most passionate about? What do you spend your money on? What triggers frustration in you when you don’t get it. What causes you to worry and be anxious? What are you afraid of losing the most? The answers to these questions will point you in the direction of the things that may be competing for your true worship.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying what God has created. I love my family, I love my house, I love my friends, I love music, I love the ministry I am a part of. But the line is crossed when I love any of those things more than Jesus. When I find my source of joy, and strength in any of those things more-so than in my relationship with Jesus, I am at risk of idolatry. Often times we don’t believe that loving Jesus can be as fulfilling as what this world has to offer. The truth is that “in His presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11) When we love and value Him first, we learn how to love and appreciate created things from a correct perspective. If I make Jesus first in my life then I will love my family well as a natural outpouring from my relationship with Him. The same can be said for the way we view all of creation.
Pursuing relationship with Jesus will always win. Knowing that the pleasures and joy found in Him are greater than those offered by this world will always win. Finding rest in Him will beat anxiety and stress. Investing in His Kingdom will bring a satisfaction unattainable by acquiring temporal, material things. Enjoying what he has created is good, but we must love Him more than all of it. Centering our lives on Jesus and making Him our first love will set the tone for a life lived in true worship. So who or what is your first love?