Precious First Love
 By Marian Lorenz, excerpted from Emmanuel Herald

    When the Apostle Paul had written to the Ephesian Church, it was in a good spiritual state. But now, after some sixty years, it was at fault before the Lord. In Revelation 2:3, Jesus commended them for some things that He was pleased with; yet they had backslidden in heart, for they had left their first love. They had not retained that strong and ardent affection for God and sacred things which they had had when first saved.

    Adam Clarke gives the following "'Remember'-- Consider the state of grace in which you once stood; the happiness, love and joy which you felt when ye received remission of sins; the zeal ye had for God's glory and the salvation of mankind; your willing, obedient spirit, your cheerful self-denial, your fervor in private prayer, your detachment from the world, and your heavenly-mindedness.

    "'Repent' -- Be deeply humbled before God for having so carelessly guarded the Divine treasure.

    "'Do the first works' -- Resume your former zeal and diligence; watch, fast, pray, reprove sin, carefully attend all the ordinances of God, walk as in His sight and rest not till you have recovered all your lost ground, and got back the evidence of your acceptance with your Maker."

    There is nothing so important to God as our loving Him with all the heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 calls it the more excellent way.