Monday, June 17, 2024

Three Steps to Renewal

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (Ephesians 3:18 NLT)

Let’s say, for the sake of illustration, that your marriage isn’t what it once was. In fact, it’s unraveling, and you don’t know how to fix it. You need to go back and do what you did when your marriage was strong.

What did you do then? If you would go back and do those things again, your marriage would be revived. Don’t wait for your emotions. You made a commitment before friends, family, and God Himself that you would stand by that person. Are you going to keep your commitment? Do what is right, and the emotions will come in time.

Now, let’s apply the same principle to our relationship with God. If we have walked away from our first-love relationship with Him, how do we get it back?

We find the answer in Revelation 2, where Jesus tells us how to get back to our first love: “Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches” (verse 5 NLT).

First, remember. Remember where you were at your highest point of love for Jesus. When was that high point for you? Was it a year ago? Was it a month ago or a decade ago? Remember that. Keep it in your mind as your point of reference.

Second, repent. To repent means to change your direction. Go back to where you were before.

Third, repeat. Do it again. What was it like when your Christian life was at its highest point? What did you do?

Did you get up every day and read the Bible? Do that again.

Did you listen to Christian radio and read good Christian books? Do that as well.

Did you pray on a regular basis? Go back and do that, too.

Did you go to church and fellowship with God’s people? Were you part of what God was doing? Do it again.

Did you look for opportunities to share your faith? Why don’t you start doing that again, too?

Remember. Repent. Repeat. We could call these the three Rs of returning to your first-love relationship with Christ.

But before we can fully love God, we need to know how much God loves us. Do you know that God loves you? The Bible says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT). Our love for God is really a response to His love for us.

And God proved His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). Jesus laid down His life for us on the cross. It wasn’t the nails that held Him to that cross; it was His love for us.

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