BACKSLIDERS – LOST THEIR FIRST LOVE
CHRIST warned the church at Ephesus for they had abandoned their love for Him. They toiled and patiently endured, and could not bear those who were evil, and judged those who were false. They did not grow weary in their work, but they had forgotten CHRIST, which made it impossible to continue growing spiritually (Rev 2:1-4).
“’Remember from whence thou art fallen’—revert to your past history, your former spiritual state; remember your first sorrow for sin, the first joy of its pardon; remember the springtime of your first love. How precious Jesus was, how glorious was His person, how sweet was His cross, how fragrant was His name, how rich was His grace. Remember how dear to you was the throne of grace, how frequently you resorted to it….’Repent, and do the first works’….[backsliding] is a sin of peculiar magnitude; it is a sin against God in the character of a loving Father, against Jesus in the character of a tender Redeemer, against the Holy Spirit in the character of a faithful Indweller and a Sanctifier. It is a sin against the most precious experience of His grace, against the most melting exhibitions of His love, and against the most tender proofs of His covenant faithfulness” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 23rd, brackets mine.)
“A Christian living in the daily neglect of self-examination must not marvel if, at a certain period of his religious course, he finds himself trembling on the brink of gloomy despondency, his evidences gone, his hope obscured, and all the past of his Christian profession appearing to his view as a fearful delusion” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 10th).
FATHER, as we end the subject of backsliders, (since we all fit into that category occasionally), certainly we should take a moment and contemplate if we still love CHRIST as much as we did at first.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting” (Ps 139: 23-24 ESV)!
“Conscience is read, motives are studied, principles are sorted out, actions are examined, the heart is searched, sin is confessed, and iniquity is acknowledged, as can only be done alone in the presence of Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 17th).