“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:4,5).
Christ’s letter to the believers in the first-century Ephesian church regarding “first things” is instructive for Christians in all ages. The “first love” of the Christian is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. The “first and great commandment” is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37,38).
Some of the commands of Scripture actually use the word “first” in them. “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23,24). “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority” (I Timothy 2:1,2).
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, he commends the generosity of the churches at Philippi and Thessalonica who “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (II Corinthians 8:5), teaching that one who gives must “first (have) a willing mind” (II Corinthians 8:12).
A Christian should never have to wonder what to do first. He should give himself first to the Lord. And then, whether it be prayer or study of God’s word, or witnessing, or mending a broken relationship, the believers “first love” is certainly able and willing to bless the work of a life that is committed to Him. CJH