Recently, I was listening online to one of my seminary professors speaking at the Dallas Seminary Chapel. He shared how he had received a letter from a seminary graduate expressing gratitude for the education he had received there during his time in seminary.
But the graduate went on to write something that was deeply disturbing. He said that when he arrived on campus, he was deeply in love with Jesus Christ. But when he left, he was more in love with the biblical text.
He left seminary loving the Bible more than He loved the Savior. Since graduating from seminary, it had taken him some time to recognize his drift and to reorient his life so that Christ was once again in the center.
Dr. Constable went on to tell of another conversation he had that summer with a student who had just finished his first year of seminary. He told Dr. Constable he wasn’t planning on returning in the fall because his walk with the Lord had dried up while he was in seminary, and he wasn’t willing to make the sacrifice in order to get a seminary degree.
These students had something in common with the church at Ephesus. They had left their first love. They had lost focus of what was most important in life. We read about this in Revelation 2:4 about the church at Ephesus: “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Some thoughts to ponder:
- What is most important in my life? Relationships? Material possessions? Prestige? A dream I’m pursuing? Or Jesus Christ?
- What can potentially push aside my love for the Lord and take first place in my life?
I want to pursue Jesus Christ with my whole heart, but I need to be on guard against those potential things that could draw my love away from seeking Him first.
My two cats, Hobson and Hannah, have given me a vivid picture to remind me of this. I recently changed their diet to canned food, and it has turned them into demanding lions. When I come home at the end of the day, they don’t run to me and love on me. They run straight to their food bowls and start meowing (loudly), demanding I give them what has become their first love – Fancy Feast cat food. But, I want them to love me, not just what I give them. I wonder how many times God has thought that about me.
I want to pursue and hunger after God the way my cats have set their hearts to wholeheartedly seek Fancy Feast dinners.
Whom or what is your first love? If not Jesus Christ, what can you do to put Him first and foremost in your life?