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Remember Your First Love

Written by Mark Vroegop on

Think back to the moment when Jesus captured your heart with the gospel. Do you remember how you felt when you first experienced God’s grace? You may have been a bit naïve, but there was something special—even hopeful—about that time in your life, wasn’t there?

Consider these examples of what the “love you had at first” (Rev. 2:4) may have looked like:

  • You couldn’t believe how wonderful the Bible was, and you couldn’t get enough of it.
  • You wanted to tell anything that moved about how to receive Jesus.
  • You’d come to worship, didn’t know the songs, and you didn’t care.
  • You loved meeting people who loved Jesus, and you had no idea about denominations or whose “team” somebody was on.
  • You loved talking to God in prayer because you couldn’t believe you had his attention.
  • You looked to the future with such optimism because your sins were forgiven.
  • You saw people and believed that anyone could change.
  • Your heart was filled with gratitude and thankfulness because of all that God had done for you.
  • You were generous with your time and money because you knew how generous God was with you.
  • You thought your church was a little slice of heaven as you saw all these people who loved the same King.

There are times when we may feel “homesick” for this kind of perspective. Hardship, opposition, and even our own failures can create a cold-hearted cynicism. It’s not only easy to be hardened, but we can also become harsh. It’s possible to become a grumpy Christian with no joy, no faith, and no love.

The letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2 is one that our churches need. Consider what the Spirit is saying to you and your church—right now. Where’s your heart today? What’s one thing that you could do by faith that’s similar to what you did when you first trusted Jesus?

We need to ask ourselves: “What does Jesus see?”

Have we left the love we had at first? “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7).

Mark Vroegop

Mark was called as the Lead Pastor of College Park in 2008. In this integral role, he is the primary teaching pastor for the North Indy congregation, and he works alongside the pastors and elders to implement our mission of igniting a passion to follow Jesus. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (M. Div.). Mark approaches ministry with a unique blend of passion for Jesus, a love for the Word, and a desire to see lives changed. He is a conference speaker, Council Member of The Gospel Coalition, contributor to 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me, and author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament and Weep With Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation. Prior to serving at College Park, Mark served at a church in western Michigan for 13 years. He married his wife, Sarah, in 1993, and they have four children, as well as a daughter in heaven due to an unexpected still-birth in 2004.
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