Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love”
I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to figure out why ministry in the suburbs is so much more difficult than ministry in Haiti. In Haiti, I felt this freedom to pray with people and speak of Jesus that I don’t feel back home. Then last night, God helped me understand.
I was reading about Christ’s letter to the first lampstand (church) that is found in the second chapter of Revelation. In the letter Christ tells them that they have forsaken their first love.
Can I illustrate something for you that I feel like God illustrated for me this week?
I love matchmaking. I love helping connect 2 people and then walking through the next several months with them as I see how much happiness they bring each other. Those who know me really well know this about me. But you know what I am not so good at? I have a hard time sitting in a room with a couple I don’t know well where one has decided to be done with the marriage and it is my job to convince them to fight it out. That is usually the time when one or both partners has “forsaken their first love” and decided to chase other interests like money, comfort, peace, lust, etc. I find it really difficult to convince that person to forsake all else and pursue their spouse again. Oh they usually say they will but follow through is another thing.
Here is where I am going with this…
Mission work is like match making. You have this incredible freedom to introduce someone who has never known Jesus to the mate their soul was made for! Then you get to rejoice with them as they walk in this new relationship. It is wonderful to be a part of.
Suburbia ministry is more like marriage counseling. I am not talking about the people who have never heard of Jesus or those who are currently in the church as much as the ones who are familiar with church, have participated at some time, and have now decided that Jesus is no longer as exciting for them as the other things they would rather chase after. They have “forsaken their first love”. It is like the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus doesn’t want to share you with other “girlfriends”. I find it really hard to bring those people back in.
I have more thoughts on this that I will most likely share later this week, I just want to ponder them a little longer. Feel free to chime in.
SIDE NOTE- A Picture from our weekend