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Remember, Repent, Return

remember

remember

Dear Faith Family,

I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.  But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first,” Revelation 2:3-4.

“If you've forgotten to replace the fuel cap at the gas station, you could do worse. A German man was driving back from his honeymoon in France. He pulled over to fuel up, thinking his bride, sleeping in the back seat, remained put. She actually got out to use the facilities. He drove on, and two and a half hours later, he noticed his wife was gone. The man called police, who said she was patiently waiting back at the gas station. This is probably not what she meant when she said, for better or for worse.” (npr.org)

The challenge before the church in Ephesus was painful.  They had left, abandoned, their first love.  Jesus was their first love.  Had they gotten too busy?  Were they distracted by entertainment?  Had they forgotten who Jesus was?  Did the contemporary circumstances distort their perspective of Jesus?

What do you do when you discover that you left Jesus back at the gas station? 

First?  Remember.  Remember what you had in Jesus.  Remember who He is.  Remember what it was like to be in love with Jesus.  Remember the joy you had with Him.  Remember His mercy and grace.  Remember the peace you had in Him.  Renewal begins with the mind.  Be ye being transformed by the renewal of your mind, (Romans 12:2b).

Second?  Repent.  Turn from whatever has you distracted and moving away from Jesus.  Get down on your knees and ask God to forgive you for abandoning your love for Him.  Stop the car.  Turn around.  Don’t wait.  Do a tire-squealing U-turn!

Third?  Return.  Go back to the gas station!  Make time for Jesus again.  Listen to Him.  Ask for His help to practice your love for Him in obedience to Him.  This is that self-sacrificing, God-honoring, grace-requiring, decision to do what Jesus said, kind of love.

Maybe the real problem for some of us is that we put Jesus in the back seat to begin with.  Oops!  What does it look like when He’s driving?

Sounds to me like a good daily practice: remember, repent, return (repeat).

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 everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24).

Remembering, repenting, returning,
Pastor Karl