Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
–2 John 1:8
We sang this morning to kick-off a camp meeting revival in Virginia and I took a lot of this post from the message today, hence the lateness of its publishing. Anyway, here are some thoughts and notes from today’s message. Enjoy.
You can lose your first love
Sin will rob you of your joy. Like the church at Ephesus was reprimanded time and again for its apathy and loss of heat, Christians have lost their joy and vigor. It’s not how you begin as a Christian, it’s how you end up.
When you love your first love like you first loved it, you won’t want to stay home from church. Love doesn’t wither and die, it only grows. If we keep our first love we will only love Him more and more as the days go by.
Sin can steal that first love from us, not destroy it, never destroy it, but sin can separate us from our first love.
How do we keep our first love and ensure that we do not lose it?
Remember the cross and what Christ has done for you. I haven’t gotten over my salvation because the cross is my greatest accountability. I can’t look at the cross, visualize the agony of my Lord for my sins, and turn away the same as I was. The cross is irresistible. I cannot help but gaze upon the wondrous love of Christ for sinners. I cannot look away from the cross and leave the same as when I came.
You can lose your joy
The joy of the Lord is our strength and many people don’t apply that to our struggles. We hear, trust in the Lord, lean on the Lord, and pray for your needs. However, we need to realize that the joy of the Lord is the strength in our struggles. Trials are fleeting, joy is lasting and enduring. Our greatest weapon against our personal struggles and sufferings is the joy of the Lord for it is the strength of believers.
You can lose your courage
After the 62 word prayer that brought fire from heaven, in chapter 19 Hillary-, I mean Jezebel wrote a note and sent it to Elijah and he crumbled. This man of God asked the Lord to take his life for fear of Jezebel.
–T. D. Burgess
That note killed his courage and stole his joy even right after the miracle he just witnessed God perform. Even the greatest among us are susceptible to fear and doubting.
How do keep courage and avoid falling into fear?
We are to be filled with the Spirit of God as the disciples on Pentecost. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is joy. Where there is the joy of the Lord there is courage.
Stay in His presence. In the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy. So, how do we stay in His presence and experience this fullness of joy?
First, we need to ask for it.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
We need to expect it and believe that He will do it. Then we need to praise God regardless of what happens, knowing that it is His will.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
–1 Thessalonians 5:18
If the Holy Spirit of God is controlling your life you will have a passion to witness and to lead others to Christ. You won’t have to go to church, you’ll have to go to church. You won’t have to witness, you’ll want to witness. Why don’t we see revival? The Holy Spirit is in us but doesn’t have control over us. We need to let go of the wheel and let Christ take the throne of our life.
We can lose our vision
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
When we lose our vision we lose our testimony. If we don’t go to church, if we don’t actively witness, if we’re not living with a purpose, why would anyone want to be a part of this church thing, this Christian thing? Without the evidence in you, your testimony won’t reach even as far as your front door. Let Christ out of your house, let Him out of the church. Don’t keep Him locked up and visit him once or twice a week. Let Him out, allow Him to rock the world.
You can lose your reward
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
If you stop participating, stop being active in your church and in your faith, you’ll lose your reward. Something as simple as a cup of water given in Jesus name and you will not lose your reward in heaven. How simple is that? And yet some Christians will walk away from the throne with nothing to lay at our Master’s feet because they didn’t even give a cup of water in Jesus name.
There’s something burning in my soul that tums and rolaids can’t put out. Jesus loves us! And yet we only talk to him when we want something.
–T. D. Burgess
Unless we forsake all else we cannot truly follow Christ.
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist