Anglican Morning Devotion for 18 July 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.” (Jeremiah 2:2; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“ I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelations 2:2-4)
Do you recall the Spring Season of the dawning of your salvation in Christ? Regardless the gloom of the climate, all things were beautiful – all things possible, and all things joyful. When you responded to that urging of the Holy spirit, you dropped everything and drew near to the Throne of Grace. What has since happened to dampen that vigor of Spirit? Has the Lord let you down in any way at all? He never leaves us nor forsakes us, but is with us always in both valley and mountain peak.
More than fifty years have transpired since I first met my precious wife. That first love was exciting and hopeful. As the years went by, I did at times begin to take that precious gift for granted; however, in the process of time, the Lord made me mindful of what a wonderful love I had in my wife, and she in me. The Lord had even used my wife’s steady insistence on my clear call to minister many years ago. The Lord even led her to purchase the property upon which our church has stood for the past twenty years. She said the property was a gift of God, and so it was. What a terrible loss I would experience if the Lord were to take away my wife during this time. But we must all be ready for whatever the Lord wills, and march on with colors flying.
The same is true of every Christian who comes to know the Lord through His persistent calling. What a joy when we first glimpse the beauty of adoption into the family of God. We never earned it and may never have sought it, but the sure and certain work of the Holy Ghost drew us in inescapable force to the bosom of Christ. Our joys overflowed! We could not hush our voices in sharing the good news of our new birth. In time, perhaps, our glee became routine and we spoke less of biblical matters. How sad. God did not leave us. He did not change. It is the fickle soul of man that is often swept about with every wind of doctrine and social breeze.
Into what did our love dissolve? In the beginning of our fellowship with Christ and His people, our hearts were as a fountain overflowing with love. From whence came that deluge of love? It first came from our Lord. We are unable to love Him except He loved us first. The apostle, John, held a special place of love in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is known as the ‘Apostle of Love’ He writes: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11) We may have fallen head over heals in love with our future wives, but that could not have been true love unless the love of God was in our hearts. Since He is the Author and sustainer of Love, we could not love apart from that provision being first made by God. John adds: “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
The marriage bond is perhaps the most vivid expression of human love. There is a profound reason that makes this true. The wife represents the Church in marriage, and the husband the Lord Jesus Christ. God instituted only two institutions – the first, Marriage between one man and one woman; the second, the Church representing the Bride of Christ. To pervert that Holy Institution is to commit a great sin of abomination in the eyes of the Lord.
You, friends, love because you were first loved. There is not a Fountain Head of Love apart from Christ!