Opening Prayer: Capture my heart, Lord Jesus, and seize my affections. Be first in my heart and my life, this day and every day. Amen.
Scripture: Revelation 2:1-7
Journal: Where is the romance in your life these days? Who, or what, has your deepest affections? How would you describe your relationship with Jesus these days? What does he want it to be?
Reflection: Our affections can tell us a lot if we pay attention to them. Whoever, or whatever, has our heart is the person, or the thing, that determines most of our behavior. Because you can’t behave your way into love, you can only love your way into behavior. Jesus, first and foremost, does not want your activity, he wants your affection. He knows that if he has your affection, everything else will fall into place. It is how we are wired. The person, or the thing, you are most deeply in love with, and passionate about, will determine how you go about your days and how you live your life.
So, let me ask you, where is the romance in your life these days? Who, or what, possesses your deepest affections? Who, or what, is first; not in the sense of chronology, but priority? What do you spend most of your energy thinking and dreaming about? Who is the one you desire to spend most of your time with? Who, or what, gives you the most life and energy? If you pay careful attention to these questions, it can tell you a lot about your life, as well as your loves. You see, the thing about your affections is that they will always land somewhere. They are always seeking an object, whether you know it or not. Therefore, you need to be careful that their landing spot is worthy of them.
Jesus told the church at Ephesus, “You have abandoned your first love. (Rev. 2:4) You have allowed other people and other things to distract you and take your heart away from your first love—me. Others have become more important to you. And when you get your affections out of order, chaos ensues. Come back to me. Let your hearts be seized once again by the power of my Great Affection. Because everyone and everything else is a poor substitute for the love you were made for.”
Most of us did not set out to abandon our first love, it was a slow, steady drift. We got so distracted and consumed with the people and the things around us that before we knew it the tides had carried us miles and miles down the beach. Other people and other things had slowly become more important than the One who made us to live in his passionate and intimate love. Therefore, we must learn to pay attention to our loves, particularly to our First Love. We must make time and space for the great affection of Jesus to capture and consume us again and again. We must be thoughtful and intentional about cultivating our romance with Jesus, the Lover of our Souls. Otherwise, we might end up just like the church at Ephesus, fueled by a dull sense of duty and obligation, rather than ignited and consumed with the passionate love of Jesus.
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, be my first love. Always my first love. Amen.