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First Love
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First Love

Haley’s life is crazy. She has the usual school stuff going on—homework, research papers, tests—but that’s not the problem. The problem is church. Youth choir, drama team, youth group website, worship team, small group leader, regular services—you name it and she’s either planning it, doing it, or both. (Most of the time it’s both.) “I feel like I live at the church and I’m just so over it. This used to be fun, but something changed. Now I just dread it all.”

[LINK] Haley’s lost her passion. It happens to all of us. In fact, passion is something that’s very difficult to maintain, and it often fades over time for many reasons. (We’ll get to that later.)

The word passion means “an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction” (Webster’s). It’s that burning drive within you—and everyone’s passionate about something. Some people were passionate about the Star Wars movie this summer and went online every day while it was in production to get the latest news. Other people are passionate about decorating, faux finishing everything in sight. And there are people who are passionate about their faith in Christ.

That’s the kind of people who were in Ephesus—well, used to be. The Christians in Ephesus lost their passion. They were so busy doing stuff for God (like Haley) that they forgot all about Him. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Not if you really think about it. In fact, there are a lot of great things that God wants us to do that we treat more like a hand-off (thanks, God, I’ll take care of it from here) or something on our own to-do list.

God called the church of Ephesus out on their dwindling passion. “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen from your first love!” (Revelation 2:2-5 NLT).

[THINK] Have you ever been walking along with a friend, talking, and when you turn to talk to your friend, you realize he or she isn’t even there anymore? Your friend made a turn and you weren’t even paying attention. We’re like that with God too.

We start out walking with Him. We’re talking to Him. Then we get so consumed with what we want to say or do, we stop following His lead. We don’t even notice when He goes in another direction because we’re so busy doing our own thing.

The Ephesians were doing great things, probably with every intention of serving God. They just forgot to follow God’s lead. They forgot their “first love.”

[LIVE] Think about a time when you were most passionate about God (a retreat, camp, mission trip, whenever). What were you most excited about? How did you feel about God and what He was doing in your life or around you? Now think about today. How has that passion grown or faded? What do you think has contributed to that?

[NXT LVL] In the midst of some very bad times, Job remembered the good old days with God. Read Job 29:1-17.


Reprinted with permission from YouthWalk magazine, © 2005 Walk Thru the Bible, Inc. To learn more about YouthWalk, visit www.youthwalk.org

Picture by Martin R.W.

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