Restored to Love

The word devotion in Hebrew speaks of the most intimate degree of loyalty, love, and faithfulness that can exist between two people.

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I had the honor and privilege to minister with a team to a group of women calling them back to their “first love.” I was amazed at how many women just wept when we prayed for them, realizing that so many have drifted from their first love Jesus!

During our preparation time, prior to the event, as a team, we prayed for each other and declared this scripture:  “We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4: 19.  In fact, the entire chapter is about God’s love and ours.

The preceding verses, say this: “This is love:  not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  1 John 4: 10 

The Word continues, saying, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  1 John 4: 11-12

Being Made Complete
 

I remember seeing all the tears flowing down from the eyes of those precious women as I prayed.  It became so real to me that there are so many hurting, many not feeling loved or feeling unworthy to even receive God’s unconditional love! Disappointments in their life or unmet expectations, or sickness, had stolen their pure, unbridled love to Jesus.

What robs us of loving Him with every fiber of our being?  What lie has replaced the Truth that God loves us, that He “first loved” us?  When “God first loved us, He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3: 16 (Emphasis added)  At the cross He completed us, in Him!  It was finished!  

That everlasting life IS everlasting love–that NEVER fails!  This is “First Love” that doesn’t fade or change its status or starts to measure the depth of love that is towards us.  God’s love is not measurable.  It’s as infinite as the sky.  It never ends!

Never Forsake Your First Love

When Jesus was addressing the churches in Revelation, He was saying to Ephesus: “I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” Revelation 2: 4  That “first love” that He was talking about was the love they had “at first” for one another and for Him, Christ!

When the prophet Jeremiah was speaking about how Israel was forsaking God, He said this:  “The Word of the Lord came to me:  Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:  I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.”  Jeremiah 2: 1-2

Are we following God still through the dry places? Are we still following Him through a land not yet sown to a place not yet established? 

When Moses was leading the people out of Egypt, and they were about to cross the Red Sea, Scripture says this:  “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel by day or night.”  Exodus 13: 21  

 
Do we trust God to go ahead of us when we aren’t there yet? Do we follow after Him day and night and rely on Him (His presence) to guide us?  Do we follow even when it gets rough and we are tired?  Are we courageous enough to go into an unknown land, into new territory?  Walking this way requires first love, devotion and first love faith!    
First Love Devotion

The word devotion in Hebrew speaks of the most intimate degree of loyalty, love, and faithfulness that can exist between two people or between an individual and the Lord.

In the New Testament, we see a picture of the end times saying this:  “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  Matthew 24: 12

Are you standing firm in the Lord in your devoted “first love” to Him?  If not, let’s look at how we can align our devotion to the Word of God and return to our “first love!”

We read our “morning devotions” and forget that being devoted to the Lord is one who is committed, constant, dedicated, faithful, loyal, and loving.

Coming Back To Our First Love

Here are some examples of being devoted and brought back to our first love:

Colossians 4:2  ” Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Romans 12:10  “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”

Acts 18:5  “…Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.”

If you have wandered away from your “first love” Jesus, or if the attacks that you have suffered have worn you down and caused you to doubt God, I send you this encouragement, this defining moment:

Cry out as the Psalmist cried out saying:  “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, so that I may fear your name.”  Psalm 86: 11  

The Way Of An Undivided Heart

When you ask God for an undivided heart you are setting yourself up to love like Him, speak like Him, live, and move like Him!  Hear God’s promises to you: 

“My eyes will watch over you for your good, and I will bring you back…I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you.  I will give you a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”  Jeremiah 24: 6-7

Did you see all the “I will’s” in that one verse?  The I Will, is the I Am!

“I will give you singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”  Jeremiah 32: 39  This promise is for you and your children!  

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?  Jeremiah 32: 27  Call in those unsaved loved ones to their first love!  

“…His bride has made herself ready.”  Revelation 19: 7  

This call of being restored to “First Love” is not just for women.  When God speaks of the Bride, He is speaking of His church (men & women)  getting ready in full devotion, singleness of heart to the Bridegroom, Jesus!

The Call is Clear

“The Spirit and the Bride say Come!”  Revelation 22: 17  

God is clearly calling His church, His Bride, into their fullness–the fullness of understanding who they are IN Christ, knowing that the fullness of the Godhead lives inside of us!  Yes, the Spirit is calling us back to our First Love–For when a marriage occurs, full-hearted devotion comes, undivided hearts occur, and His pure love, pours out!

Yes, we love…because He first loved us!  We will love others–through His love, not ours.  Only this type of love sustains us, allows us to rise above the hurt, forget the wrongs and embrace a love–that never fails!

When Jesus said, “I am the first and the Last.”  He was saying, I am your first love and your last love, and everywhere else in between.

Only HIS love is everlasting–forever–eternal!  No one can love us like that!

Are You Loving Living?

“Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him.”  1 John 4: 16  It’s time to live!  

He’s calling us back to love!  He’s restoring us to love, to live in Him!  That’s what I call:  Loving Living!  His call has never changed!  Live in God–You will love–you will feel and be complete!


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About the Author

Mary Beth Pecora, a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, worshiper and servant leader, who loves life and loves people. More importantly, she passionately loves God and the fullness of who He is! For twenty-three years she has served in leadership positions within the ministry of Aglow International. Currently, she and her husband serve at The Secret Place--A Psalm 91 Ministry. It's a place for individual folks to come, be exhorted and prayed for, while being ushered to ministry stations within the room. They continue to serve monthly in the Prayer Room at their home church that they have been a part of for almost forty years. In April of 2022 they both received their Ministry License and will pursue Ordination in the fall. She delights in encouraging folks of all ages within various walks of life. Her love of writing is now her passion, which led her to publish two books, "Restoration Explosion In The New Year," and "Navigating The Mysteries Of God." Above all that’s been accomplished and concluded, the BEST thing to her is knowing her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is her everything—her very best friend. Visit: Mybelovedsvoice.com