About Jesus Steve Sweetman
She was older than I was.
I was just 21 years old. She
had been married for 8 or 9 years. Why
was she confiding in me? I
wasn't married. I didn't
understand the finer aspects of married life.
I had no idea why her marriage had become void of the passion it
Passion is a strong
emotion that motivates us to do certain things.
If we're honest we'll admit that over time passion tends to fade
and often dies. It's called
the Law of Entropy. All things
decay and drift towards death unless carefully maintained with tender
Decay and death entered
humanity just as God said it would the moment Adam sunk his teeth into a
slice of forbidden fruit. In
one split second every cell, every atom, every molecule, of every created
being or thing began to suffer decay that would lead to death.
We have absolutely no idea of the sudden drastic change that
plunged creation into a history altering world of decay and death.
Whether it's our
marriages, our relationships with Jesus, or anything in life; it's all
subject to decay and death. Some
say their passion in marriage hasn't died.
It has matured into real love.
That may be true with some but more often than not I think passion
either dissipates into a state of mediocre luke-warmness and indifference
or it shifts its attention elsewhere.
When we first met Jesus
most of us were overwhelmed with heartfelt passion for Him, but as time
goes on, passion tends to fade, die, or drift elsewhere.
Some may say their passion for Jesus has matured into real love.
Once again, more often than not our actions show that passion
drifts into a mediocre luke-warm indifference or shifts its attention
Jesus speaks to the issue
of lost passion in Revelation 2:1 to 7.
He counsels the community of believers in
In verse 4 Jesus says,
"I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." I
equate first love with these believers heartfelt passion that was ignited
when they first met Jesus. They
might have thought their passion had matured into real love, but Jesus
begged to differ.
To re-ignite lost passion
Jesus gives the following advice, advice that marriage counsellors often
give couples struggling with fading passion.
"Remember the height from which you have fallen.
Repent and do the things you did at first (verse 5)."
In the Greek text the word "remember" is a present
imperative verb. This means
that these people were to immediately stop what they were doing, sit down,
and recall the passion they once had for Jesus.
The Greek verbs translated into English as "repent" and
"do" are aorist indicative verbs.
This means that in no uncertain terms these believers were to admit
to their mediocrity. They were
to abandon their state of indifference.
They were to do the things they did when their lives were motivated
by heart felt passion for Jesus.
Think of passion in terms
of a young couple in love. I
realize that their passion is just as much a matter of hormones as it is a
matter of love. I realize that
passion is more than a matter of sexuality.
I realize that passion is expressed differently by different
people. I also realize that
hormones don't necessarily decide to explode on their own. They're
aroused by what we see, what we touch, and what we do.
So, when passion fades marriage counsellors often suggest that the
couple remember what life was like when their passions for each other were
all-consuming. In the hope of
re-igniting lost passion the couple is advised to do the things that
aroused passion when they first met. I
think that's what Jesus had in mind when He advised the Ephesian believers
to do the things they once did. His
desire was to have their spiritual hormones stimulated sufficiently enough
that passion would be re-ignited.
Jesus doesn't end here.
He warns these believers that if things don't change He will remove
their lampstand (verse 5). Revelation
1:20 tells us that the lampstand is the church.
The words "I will remove" is a future indicative verb in
Greek. This means that if
things didn't soon change, they'd certainly cease to be a church.
They may still exist organizationally.
They may retain the outward shell of church, but without the inner
spark of the Holy Spirit, they'd be an empty hollow shell.
That's a sad ending to a group once possessed with passion, but
this is the reality throughout much of what we call church.
Jesus was also upset with
the Laodicean community of believers.
In Revelation 3:15 He scolded them for being luke-warm in relation
to Him. Their passion had been
redirected to a self sufficient materialistic world.
Therefore, in a demonstration of His own passion, Jesus was ready
to vomit them out of His mouth.
Allowing passion for
Jesus to fade, shift its attention elsewhere, or die, is a serious matter.
You might want to ask what arouses your passions.
What excites you? What
motivates you? Where do your
affections lie? What consumes
your thoughts? If you're like
the Ephesian believers you should remember the height from which you have
fallen, repent, and do the things you did when you were passionate for