Declension from first love
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Suggested Further Reading:
There are some people who always live upon what they have been. I speak very plainly now. There is a brother in this church who may take it to himself; I hope he will. It is not very many years ago since he said to me, when I asked him why he did not do something—“Well, I have done my share; I used to do this, and I have done the other; I have done so and so.”
Oh, may the Lord deliver him, and all of us, from living on “has beens!” It will never do to say we have done a thing. Suppose, for a solitary moment, the world should say, “I have turned round; I will stand still.” Let the sea say, “I have been ebbing and flowing these many years; I will ebb and flow no more.”
Let the sun say, “I have been shining, and I have been rising and setting for many days; I have done this enough to earn me a goodly name; I will stand still;” and let the moon wrap herself up in veils of darkness, and say, “I have illuminated many a night, and I have lighted many a weary traveller across the moors; I will shut up my lamp and be dark for ever.”
Brethren, when you and I cease to labour, let us cease to live. God has no intention to let us live a useless life. But mark this; when we leave our first works, there is no question about our having lost our first love; that is sure.
If there be strength remaining, if there be still power mentally and physically, if we cease from our office, if we abstain from our labours, there is no solution of this question which an honest conscience will accept, except this, “Thou hast lost thy first love, and, therefore, thou hast neglected thy first works.”
Past love is no substitute for present expressions of it (Philemon: 5-7,20). Present work is no guarantee that love cannot be lost in the future (Philemon: 24; 2 Timothy 4:10).
Sermon no. 217
29 September (Preached 26 September 1858)
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