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First Things First

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A LIFE MOTIVATED BY LOVING GOD
STORAGE ALMOST FULL
THE HEART OF THE MATTER...
WHAT MATTERS MOST IN LIFE?
"HEAR, O ISRAEL" - SHEMA ISRAEL
THE LORD IS ONE
"YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD..."
"WITH ALL YOUR BEING."
"YOU'VE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE."
REMEMBER THE HEIGHT YOU'VE FALLEN
FIRST LOVE, FIRST WORKS
KEEPING THE FIRST THINGS FIRST

A LIFE MOTIVATED BY LOVING GOD

  • “Sign up” again for wholeheartedness
  • Greater devotion to Him
  • Abandonment to the things of this world
  • Hit the refresh button on our desire for prayer and the word

STORAGE ALMOST FULL

It’s time to clear out distractions and meaningless activities to increase our spiritual vitality and ability to hear from the Holy Spirit

“Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us” Hebrews 12:1

What is the Holy Spirit Saying to the Church?

THE HEART OF THE MATTER...

  • What are the things our heart is set on? What consumes our thoughts, energy, time, and emotions?
  • “Guard your heart with all vigilance. For from it are the sources of life.” Proverbs 4:23
  • We need the vision of our life to be set on loving and obeying God above anything else.

WHAT MATTERS MOST IN LIFE?

  • Health and Happiness?
  • Family and Friendship?
  • Leaving a Legacy?
  • Fame and Fortune?

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deut. 6:4-5) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment greater than these…. Mark 12:28-31 NIV

"HEAR, O ISRAEL" - SHEMA ISRAEL

  • ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Deut. 6:4-5 
  • Shema means  “Hear” or “Listen”.
  • This specific prayer represents the core of the Jewish faith, it encapsulates the heartbeat of the Law and Prophets.
  • A daily prayer and pledge of allegiance

THE LORD IS ONE

  • The Lord Alone, The Unique One, The Creator of all things, The God of gods.
  • The statement shows the singularity of the God of Israel above all the gods of the nations.
  • He is to be the sole object of His people’s allegiance, loyalty, and devotion. 
  • “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:24

"YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD..."

  • The verb אָהֵב (ʾahev, “to love”) in this setting communicates not so much an emotional idea as one of covenant commitment. To love the Lord is to be absolutely loyal and obedient to him in every respect, a truth Jesus himself taught (cf. John 14:15) -NET Bible Note on Deuteronomy 6:5
  • “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. “ John 14:15
  • “Love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him (“Hug” in Hebrew) and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5

"WITH ALL YOUR BEING."

  • Heart, soul, mind, strength says, in effect, we should love God with all our being.
  • And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut. 6:6-9

What about us?

As followers of Jesus, wholehearted love for God is our number one priority. My question is: Are we doing the most important thing? Is our loyalty and allegiance set on God with all our being? Has our love grown lukewarm or cold? Our part starts with the heart.

"YOU'VE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE."

  • I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary.But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! Revelation 2:2-4
  • The Greek word translated “departed from” ἀφίημι, aphiēmi; can actually be used of divorce, so the imagery here is very strong. 
  • Where did things go wrong? Were they just going through the motions? How do they get back to the first love?

REMEMBER THE HEIGHT YOU'VE FALLEN

Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.
If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. Revelation 2:5 NLT

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:8–12 ESV

The call to come back to the first love takes actively recalling the Gospel and keeping it alive and burning in your heart. It takes daily meditation on the Word.

FIRST LOVE, FIRST WORKS

“DO THE DEEDS YOU DID AT FIRST”

  • Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: ‘This is what the LORD says: I have fond memories of you, how devoted you were to me in your early years. I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted.” Jeremiah 2:2 NET
  • What are the fruits of the first love? Confession and Repentance of sin, Forgiveness, radical faith, generosity, sharing the Gospel, gratitude 

KEEPING THE FIRST THINGS FIRST

  • Simple doesn’t mean easy. It’s going to take “heart” work. He promises if we seek Him, we will find Him.
  • Prioritize the secret place of prayer. Alone time
  • We can have good works, endurance, doctrine, but must ask, is our heart in it?