Returning to Your First Love

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Jesus Calls Us to Walk in Forgiveness

On the subject of first love for Jesus, the subject of love for one another arises as inseparable to the storyline. Jesus called us not only to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, but to love one another—His second command being much like the first. The two commands are bound up together and cannot be separated because there is an overlapping interdependency within them.

On the one side, we only love others to the measure we have personally known and received the love of Christ, and without a deep experience of the love of Jesus, the smallest conflicts will divide us. Living in the first commandment is critical to the fulfillment of the second commandment. On the other side, our relationships with one another, as those redeemed in Jesus, are vital to living victoriously in our love for God and our walk of faith.

The Lord has given us this love amidst His Body as a preserving mechanism to keep our hearts in tenderness and passion, keeping and guarding us from growing hardened and dull. If we neglect these relationships or fall into the snare of offense and bitterness that they often provide for our hearts, our relationship with the Lord directly suffers.

When we see this direct link between our relationships together and our relationship with Jesus, and the potential strike against our passion for Jesus that we might suffer, it causes a holy trembling within us. It forges a tenacity to carefully watch over our hearts with all diligence, refusing to allow the thieves and adversaries of love to enter and take root in us.

Compelled by our love for Jesus and jealous to remain fervent in Him, we become fiercely committed to love one another fervently, just as the Word of God entreats us. When first love is in first place and loving the Lord with all our hearts has truly become the dream of our lives, we are empowered to face difficulty and walk out adversity in our relationships. We are endued with the necessary resolve and courage to walk the unpopulated paths of forgiveness and reconciliation with our brothers and sisters.

Questions to Ponder: How does your relationship with other people reflect the relationship you have with God? How would a more intimate relationship with Jesus affect your daily life with other people?