Our senior class has heard from the Lord and shared that the theme for the 2014-2015 school year is “Set Ablaze”. In the context of celebrating the school’s 30th year Anniversary, they see God moving to strengthen our foundations as we move forward into the future He has in store for us. “Foundational to our foundations” is the rekindling of the flames of our first love for Him. This forms the basis of our ability to in turn love others and create the Kingdom culture God desires for this school community.
In 1 John 4:19-2 we read, “We love, because He first loved us.” Reality is the dwelling place of God because He IS ultimate reality. We will not find Him in the place we hope or think we ought to be, because He is waiting for us to see Him in the place we actually ARE. Only He can lead us THROUGH. Only He can lead us OUT. Only He can lead us ON. His desire is to meet us where we are, moment by moment, so our corporate life can be can be punctuated by times of sharing what we have seen God doing, and magnifying His Name together.
He is in the process of restoring our first love for Him. We love, because He “first-loved” us! We can respond afresh and anew, and return to our first love, every time we see Him meeting and touching us with HIS love in the midst of the REALITY of our trials, tests, temptations, and tribulations.
Even conviction of sin and a willingness to recognize the futility of trying to live godly in our own strength are opportunities to be renewed in our first love, because they are vivid reminders of the wonders of His grace, the wideness of His mercy, and the power of His love, which He DAILY and freely pours out on our lives. Jesus came not to condemn, but to redeem DAILY!
Baptism in water and the Holy Spirit are monuments to and landmarks of His first-love for us. Holy Communion is a perpetual and personal “picture,” as well as a present pouring out of His first-love for us. Even our self-examination prior to receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus confronts us with Father’s “first-loving” us when He made, in Christ, payment for “the complete and total forgiveness of each and every one of our sins.”
The daily REALITY of our lives provides an endless array of opportunities to “return to our first love, as Father meets us in the midst of it all with His first-love for us.