When love is on automatic pilot

Published 3:21 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

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By PASTOR RANDY REID |Clanton First Assembly of God

Wife says, “Honey, you never tell me you love me anymore.” Husband says, “I told you I loved you at the altar, and if I change my mind, I will let you know.” Sound familiar? This was an exchange I witness as a child between a husband and wife. The husband made the statement in jest, of course, and the wife responded with a big laugh knowing her husband was teasing. However, when it comes the believer’s relationship with Christ, for many I am afraid ,those words express an accurate sentiment.

Remember when you first met your spouse and began a relationship with them? Can’t you still remember that first date, the first time you held hands or shared that first kiss? Remember how glorious it was? During those early days of the relationship, you could not do enough for them. You wanted to be on your best behavior at all times so as to present yourself as the best of yourself. During those early days, you would drive out of your way to get to see them and did not think it a burden. You would spend money you did not have to express your love and make them feel special. Why all the fuss? You loved them and wanted to express it to them in a tangible way.

It is unfortunate how as the years pass we get use to each other and the relationship transitions from intentional expressions of love to one that assumes, they “just know.”

That assumption was the problem with the churches of Asia, which Jesus addressed through the writings of the Apostle John in Revelation 2 and 3. Those churches, all of which were birthed in the fires of revival, had grown distant in their relationship with Christ. Despite their distance from Christ, the doors of these churches had not closed, nor is there any indication that they suffered numerically or financially. According to Christ’s own words, these churches were still doing good works. They were heavily involved in the community and were actively engaging in ministry. One might ask, “What in the world was wrong with these church that Jesus would issue them such a strong rebuke?” I mean, on the surface they seemed like a church any pastor would desire to lead. But Jesus was not impressed.

These churches were guilty of allowing their relationship with Jesus to fall into the same trap that many marital relationships do. Their love for Jesus went into automatic pilot. They continued engaging in ministry to Him while forgetting that the objective of ministry was for Him. Like the husband and wife who both work hard to bring in money for the household to function, while forgetting the objective of their labor to each other.

Jesus said of these churches that they had left their first love and had fallen in a state of lukewarmness. The same could be said of many relationships that begin with passionate love for each other but overtime waned into something that becomes mere routine and mundane.

Jesus’ remedy for these churches can be applied to fallen relationships. Look back and remember where you went wrong. Then, start doing again what you use to do when you were first in love.