You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Loving, Losing & Leaving

And blessing a man Have a seat. Ooh, Well, welcome, welcome. I Oh, by the way, welcome parking lot people, we have people in the parking lot on this side. So hey, guys, we’re gonna continue doing that as as the weather allows us to anyway, because we don’t want the TVs to get rained on. That’s never a good thing. But I love that song powerful song, right? I’ve never heard that song before. And it gels exactly with what we’re talking about today. So I’m you know, it’s almost like we plan stuff around here. But we mark said, Did you know, you know, where you based? I know you don’t base your sermons off of what I bring the music wise. I said, No, I had no clue. I’ve never even heard that song before. But it fits very appropriately, because we’re going to be talking about losing that loving feeling. I mean, remember the song? Yeah. The righteous brothers. Sing with me. Now it’s what? He’s girl. And so it’s like, oh, yeah, you lost. We’re gonna talk about that today. I don’t know if you saw if you read our outdoor service last week. But if you were here, Jesus was here. Amen. And some of you like, yeah, you know, Jesus was here. And I’m not talking about Johnny, you know, My son, Johnny, Pastor Johnny, he just looks like Jesus. But he were Jesus actually was here. And in Matthew 18, in verse 20, if you’re familiar with this passage, for where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am what I’m there in the midst of them. In the Living Bible translation paraphrase, it says, where two or three gathered together because they are mine, I will be right there among them. And now, I know this passage, if you’re a super scholar, this passage is, is really contextually talking about church discipline, when you’re there two or three are in my name, you know, bringing an issue with a sending believer that I’m there, but I think the principle carries over to regular church gatherings like this one. And, you know, in all of them that we have one commentator I, like, writes that although in his presence, or although his presence is invisible, it is no less real than it is when he stood visibly in the midst of his disciples after his resurrection. So Jesus is here right now. So that should tell you several things, first of all, beyond good behavior, right? But also, you know, we want to glorify Him, and it’s all about him, and not about us. But Jesus was at our outdoor service. He’s in every service. He’s here today. He’s in every point group, right? Because your point groups are two or three or more. Yes, he’s in every church event. We had a lady’s drive thru thing I got roped into being here yesterday, because I am the husband of the lady in charge. And but it was cool. It was a drive thru. And one of our guys said, Wow, this is women are different because men, I don’t know if this will work for men, but they have you know, because of COVID. They had a drive thru, you know, all these different booths and you use pull up. And then you talk to the lady name, you know, you purchase, whatever you look at things. And then and so there was all this traffic, it was really cool. So three hours of ladies driving through by and stuff. So Jesus was here. I don’t know if he purchased anything. But anyway, I have a men’s point group. And because of COVID, I’m on zoom. And so I’m out in my office, at the farm in my office in my shop. And you know, the dudes are on the screen. Those of you that do zoom, you understand it. And we got like seven guys, and we’re zooming there from all over the place. A lot of them brand new to the church. It’s really cool. But Jesus zooms in to now again, he’s invisible, but he is there. So here’s the message. Here’s where I’m going with all of this. Jesus is walking around in our midst, amen. So let’s not take him off. Jesus is walking around in our midst. So since he is walking around our mitts, let’s not take him off and you’re like, Whoa, you know, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about Jesus being here. And then you got to say, so let’s not take him off. What is that? Where’d you come up with that one from Jesus? from Jesus own words, we’re going to the last book of the Bible. Today I want to look at something Revelation chapter one. And this is john john the apostle is here on the Isle of Patmos. And he is in exile. We’ll talk about that in a second. But so he’s telling his stories out there, you know, just he’s old old man. But this time, he says i john, I’m your brother and your partner in suffering, and in God’s kingdom, and the patient endurace to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, for preaching the Word of God and for my testimony about Jesus, and then something happened. It was the Lord’s day, the Lord’s Day is what day. Sunday, Sunday, right the Lord’s Day, first day of the week. And I was worshiping in the spirit. So he was, you know, having himself a private church service, I guess, doesn’t say that anybody else was with him. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, right in the book, everything you see and send it to the seven churches in the cities of emphasis Smyrna, pergamum, via thairis artists, Philadelphia, not the one in Pennsylvania, and Laodicea. And when I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands. So he saw what saw seven golden lampstands, which is weird. Now, the book of Revelation is weird. All right. It’s a whole bunch of visions, etc, going on. And so this starts without so john, he’s there. He’s just, you know, on the Isle of Patmos, he’s doing his you know, he’s trying to get with God on a Sunday morning, probably by himself. And all of a sudden, he hears this voice behind him this huge voice, he turns around, and he sees this the seven golden lampstands. And then standing in the middle of the lamp stands with someone like the Son of Man, that’s the resurrected, glorified Christ. And then he describes him. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest, his head and his hair were white like wool. This is Jesus, as white as snow in his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace. His voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand. He held What? Seven star. So he’s standing in the middle of seven lampstands. And he’s holding this the glorified Christ, seven stars in his right hand, a sharp two edged sword came from his mouth. What is that? The Word of God in his face with like the sun and all its brilliance. So if you’re just tuning around, having your own little private worship thing outside, and you hear a voice, and you turn around and see this, here is what would happen to you. When I saw him, I fell in his feet as if I were dead, right. But he laid his right hand on me and said, Don’t be afraid. I’m the first and the last on the living when I died. But look, I’m alive forever and ever, I hold the keys of death and the grave. Here’s what I want you to do. Write down what you’ve seen, both the things that are now happening, the things that will happen. This is prophecy endtime stuff. This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars that you saw on my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The Seven Stars are the angels of the seven churches, they’re like, churches have angels. jenelle. And I had a discussion about this earlier this morning. But it The Greek word is messengers. And so a lot of scholars think it’s pastors, right? The Seven Stars are angels, but it could be angels. Each church could have like a guardian angel. We don’t know for sure. The but I tend to think it’s pastors, the seven stars of the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. So here’s the thing. He’s walking around in the midst of the seven churches, and either the angels of the churches or the pastor’s of the churches, he’s holding his right hand. And here’s the context. You remember, the disciple john, you know, he’s old, he’s been through a lot. He’s probably 90 years older stuff. He’s exile to an island. And it wasn’t one of these, you know, some of you, you’re like, oh, we’re gonna go on a cruise to the islands. All right, this is totally different than that. Totally different than that. Jesus had resurrected No, john had been the disciple that Jesus loves, right. And he was kind of a tender hearted guy. You know, a good guy, but not uh, you know, braggadocious in your face, dude, like Peter. And so Jesus goes through the resurrection, you know, the death, burial resurrection, and he told them what we’ve been. We’ve talked about this the last series, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. It’s called the Great Commission. Yes, the Great Commission is what the church is supposed to be about. And these boys, you know, they got they got with it. And they’ve had huge successes, and they went everywhere, planting churches, discipling, believers, training pastors, and facing huge persecutions, because to the point, john is by himself, he’s all alone. James, the apostle James is dead, killed by Herod about 11 years after the death of Jesus. Peter, according to tradition was crucified, but he felt he would not be worthy to be crucified like his Savior was. So he asked to be crucified upside down. That’s according to tradition, that we understand that Paul was killed about the same time that be called Paul was because Paul was a Roman citizen, he did not have to die in a horrible excruciating death, like crucifixion, and his Roman citizenship bought him the right to die by be probably beheading. So Paul is dead. Andrew was reportedly crucified in a cave, Matthew is said to have been martyred in Ethiopia. Thomas has been reputed to have been killed by a lance in India and Jude, not Judas, but Jude had been killed in Persia modern day Iran. So all these guys took Jesus Seriously, and they went to different locations all across the known world preaching the gospel, you know, discipling, believers planting churches, training pastors, they did that. And now john is all alone. And he’s been banished to the Isle of Patmos. Now, Patmos is here, if you’re you got your map, this is the Mediterranean Sea got Israel over here. And Patmos is right around this area here. This is the old map Greece up here in Italy, going on there. But it’s, it’s it’s not a nice place. It’s really a penal colony. Here’s a picture of it today. And it’s just kind of a rock with mines in it. And so the the prisoners were forced to work the mines. So quite probably this old aging apostle, who’s the only one left is is having to work for his food, you know, just just digging in the mines, even at his advanced age. And so he’s just there. And, you know, and I don’t know what he’s feeling, the Bible doesn’t tell us the Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about john, between when Jesus said, Go out and preach the gospel. And this not a lot. He’s written some books, but we don’t know a lot about the middle details. But here’s what happens. He’s faithful to God Sunday morning, he comes, you know, and he’s out there, and he’s gonna have him some church, even though he’s probably by himself, and he gets this vision, this vision of the glorify Christ, you walking in the midst of the churches, churches that john was familiar with, and he’s present. He’s showing I am present in my church, and I’m wanting you to write the leaders, the messengers of these churches, and I’m intrigued with the one he starts with, because it’s the church of Ephesus, you’re like, Okay, why are you intrigued? JOHN, what’s up with that? Because, again, some parts of John’s life are not clear. And but we think and we find out from historians that he probably was very active, john was, here’s the Isle of Patmos, by the way, but previously, he had been in the church of Ephesus, and quite possibly had pastored it. And so what is the resurrected Christ basically saying, it sounds like he’s saying, hey, I want to talk to the seven churches, the seven churches that john you’re very familiar with, and that Paul, for the most part, went around started, and let’s start with the one that you pastored. Alright. And I’m sure John’s like, Okay. And he says this right, verse, chapter two, verse one, right, this letter to the angel, the messenger, quite possibly the pastor of the church in Ephesus, this is the message. And by the way, these are local churches. All right, and I’ve talked before about people’s idea of the Universal Church, that the universal is everybody, we’re all if you’re a believer, you’re a member of this universal church, only in the sense that this is being developed. It’s an embryonic state, that the church the the church, universal, will never really be a church until anybody know in the rapture, because that is when the churches gathered, the word church in the Greek is ecosia, which mean that a call not assembly or a gathered assembly, right? And so people are like, Oh, I’m a member, hey, what church do you belong? jobless, I belong to the universal church. I don’t go to know I don’t have a local church. But I don’t worry about me. Well, you know what, when something happens in your life, you know, and you need to you need somebody to care for you or talk to you, you need a pastor, then you’re going to call the universal pastor, the invisible pastor. And they don’t think these things through Jesus died for the church, and he loves the church. And the only way that we can work these things out is in a local church. And so the map had the picture of these different churches, he’s writing to each local church. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands are the church. I know all the things you do. I’ve seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You’ve examined the claims of those who say they’re apostles, but are not you’ve discovered, they’re liars. And you’ve patiently suffered for me without quitting. And let me simplify and summarize Jesus saying, Hey, I’m the glorified Christ. I’m present every time there are two or three of you gathered, I’ve been walking around your church, and you’ve been doing some things good. You’ve been doing some things right? Congratulations, man. You know, notice when people are up there, and they’re like, I’m an apostle, because the apostles were alive. John’s like the last one, but they were alive. And so people were coming around, though everybody was claiming the you know, title of apostle. And so they check him out, check him according to Scripture and go No, you’re not No, you’re a liar. And you know, they’ve been suffering. I noticed that you I see your hard work I see you are enduring patiently. church of Ephesus. I am pleased you don’t tolerate evil. You don’t just, you know, put up with it. You You know, realize that I’m not going to bend to culture. The culture of that day, if you remember, we talked about the book of FSS last year preached through the whole thing took us about 30 weeks, and we started out showing how corrupt efforts Was it was a corrupt place and and that church was planted right in the midst of it. And he’s saying you haven’t let that corruption ooze in, you guys are standing against that, and spiritual leaders that come your way you check them out from the Word of God to see if you should listen to them. And by the way you’re patiently suffering in my name and for my name and because of the culture that’s coming at you, and and I just want to say way to go way to go. And I imagine By this time, the old apostle john is kind of cracking a smile. He’s like, Yeah, man, I’ve pastored that church for a while. But then and you say, well, john, but you said, you know, Jesus walking around in our midst, and we just need to not take him off. When does Jesus get ticked off? Next verse, verse four. But that big, but I have this complaint against you. Remember this Jesus talking to a church, a local church? Oh, no, what you don’t love me. And this version has or each other. As you did it, the first look how far you fall. He just talked about all this good stuff and things like but I have something against you. You don’t love me like you used to you’ve left your first love, look how far you fall. And then he gives him a warning turned back to me and do the work. She did it the first if you don’t repent, I’m going to come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches, I will shut you down. I will shut you down. You’re like what does it mean? Totally remove your lampstand I’ll blow out your spiritual light. I’ll extinguish your holy flame. I will I will write a kebab over your doors, I will take my name and my power off your ministry you might still be meeting you might still be active, you might still be calling yourself a church. But you’re not going to be I just went to this this year, a few months ago, I went back to Illinois and where I grew up, and whenever I do, I always take I I you know, say to the family, Hey, I’ll be back in a little bit. And I drive out I drove out to see where my father’s buried out in the little country grave next to the church mama goes to now and has gone to you know, for a long time the church I was mostly raised in but I always drive around this church just about seven miles past that, that we went to when I was a lot smaller kid but I still have memories of it and it’s always sad to me in my sister sent a picture of it. This is what it looks like. Now why is it sad to you, john, because another church anymore? You can’t read that. But it’s an antique store. So the antique store. I don’t know what happened. You know, I lost track of them. You know, they were the Kings Presbyterian Church in Kings Illinois. And I remember as a little kid having Bible school down in that, you know, kind of moldy smelling basement and all and in the different things we get into you know, all these old churches had a kitchens and so we kids knew where the chips were the potato chips and stuff and so we’d always try to sneak in there you know, and, and raid the chip pantry. But I have these memories in these, you know, Christmas and the Christmas decorations. And the one pastor that yelled at Presbyterian, the yells I know it’s shocking, but we had one and and he would yell at my baby brother said, you know Reverend wolf was lol at me. Because he we always sat in the back because we were you know, Houston’s and we had all of us kids in there and, and sometimes one of us had to be taken into the very back Sunday school room to have our butt readjusted. So all these memories, but now and in his four years been an antique store. And basically, the candlesticks been removed. That’s what he’s talking about. But he’s also talking about churches that are still going and still may be big and large and doing huge things got huge ministries. But Jesus said they don’t even realize that boom, I don’t even consider one of mine. Because they are here left their first love. So that’s Jesus warning to the church of Ephesus, and that is Jesus warning to the church of Point Harbor. And that is really Jesus warning to every church that meets in his name. And I’m sure the folks in Ephesus, but when they got this letter, because Paul’s writing individual letters, seven individual letters, when they got this letter, and the pastor reads it to the congregation of that church that was known for being a, you know, we studied that. I mean, they were doing things and reaching folks for Christ. But this is years removed as some years removed from when Paul wrote about it. So probably 30 years removed, and they’re like, Wait a second, wait a second. We’re orthodox man. I know, some of those churches are going liberal, you know, into into liberal theology. And some of those churches are being syncretic. They’re taking, you know, some of this paganism, and they’re putting it in Christianity, but we’re not doing that. I mean, we’re orthodox, and we’re busy in ministry, and we got ministries over here. We got ministries and pour over here. We got ministries to you know, x prostitutes over here. We’re working hard for Jesus and you know, we’re patiently by the way suffering persecution, too. I mean, this isn’t we’re not popular. We’re not trying to be popular. We’re we’re suffering from the government and other people we rejecting all the false teachers. Come on, man to hitch Jesus replies, but I have a complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other is you did at first look how far you fallen, turned back to me and do the work she did the first if you don’t repent, I’m gonna come remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. That’s how huge it was to Jesus. They were doing all of this stuff right but they got the love wrong. You’ve left your first love. What does that even mean? If you’re married and you’ve been married for any length of time, I think you know what it means. Now you might not admit it. I don’t know how many of you remember Dr. Mad blood Dr. Mad blood? That command anybody used to watch that commandment? Yeah, he’s still around. I think he’s don’t make a comeback or something like that, that command like, and I’d never heard of Dr. Mad, but he’s kind of a local thing, if I’m not mistaken. And, and so I started dating Robin. And then going over to her house, she lived with her parents and you know, we’d sit there in the den. And later at night, it’s like 11 o’clock or whatever. And we’d watch Dr. Mann blood. And I’m sitting there, we you know, we were in the Sunday school here together in the singles class. And so I’m sitting there, and we’re just kind of getting together and sitting on the couch watching Dr. Mad blood and I did one of those slight things, guys, I just move my hand over and took her little hand. And she was okay with it. And it felt electric. And so I waited you know, Dr. Mad blood did his stuff. Then we watched those campy, scary movies. Then he came back and narrated some weird stuff in between, but I wasn’t paying attention to Dr. Mad blood. So I did that thing. You know, I had I timed it perfectly. I just leaned in, came down and gave her a kiss our first kiss. That was I mean, I’m not lying, it was skyrockets in flight. It was explosions. It was and I kiss girls before like you. And I had never had I mean, just Brian. It was just like, wow, I’m like, wow. And so that was awesome. That was awesome. JOHN does that do you have that same feeling every time you kiss Miss Robin, now. It’s awesome. We get busy. Right? Life happens. We get used to each other, we get work in and so we you know, dated, you know, we had a very short, short courtship, I had a little cruise down to Guantanamo Bay and came back and got married and and then right away, she got pregnant, like right after the honeymoon. So now here’s Little Johnny. And then we got the Navy and went into ministry. And now you know, we’re both going to Bible college and things, you know, life happens. And then I come back here and in ministry and doing a painting business at the same time and the thrill can subside, the thrill can subside, and you can lose your first love. And then there are hundreds of country music has made its chops off of this every day. I mean, most most most genres of music, but you know, that’s I because there’s one song I know you don’t love me anymore. And so I was like, Who does that and I, you know, Google that. And I got about five different country artists with five different songs, titled you don’t love me anymore. It country. But what happens is you move from Sweet Emotion to structured motion. You know what, what used to be just organic and exciting and wonderful and passionate now is more structured, you know, now you’ve got to make the bills. Now, life has happened in that you’re moving from Sweet Emotion to structured motion. And so you can start to lose that loving feeling. But really, you’ve lost your first love. And if you’re not careful, you lose your marriage. If you’re not careful, you can lose your marriage. Because the marriage flame is blown out. The fire is gone. And some of you we just go through the motions, you know, and then getting tired of just going through the motions. The momentum we just officially call it quits. Well, john, how can I know and this translates I’m talking about marriage. But this translates we’re really talking about the church here. That’s what Jesus was talking about. How can I know if I’ve lost my first love, whether in marriage or for my church? Let me ask you a question. When you had that first love, where where did you place the object of your love? Were? First, right, first. And when you place that that object of your first of your love first becomes first love and stays first love as long as they are first, in a few simple scriptural tests that we don’t have to wonder about where we are, personally, with our first love and corporately as a church. There’s the obedience test, the obedience test. These are Jesus’s words john 14, if you love me, what? obey my commandments. You say you love me. Obey what I say. The stuff that’s exciting to obey and the stuff that you’re like, oh, man, this is gonna give me a lot of trouble to obey this. This is gonna hurt I don’t even think I agree with this. If you love me, keep my commandments obey my commandments, all of my commandments. Somebody says but I send out scriptural means every morning on Facebook, john, God don’t care if you are disobeying his book, what you are doing on Facebook? I think a lot of Christians think that Facebook and what they put on Facebook is the level or the measure of their spirituality, sometimes the exact opposite. He walks around your life and says you’ve lost it, haven’t you? You’ve lost it. Remember when you used to, you know, to be excited about learning new truth, even when it was truth that scared you, even when it was truth that you realize, oh, man, if I do that, this I’m gonna if I start obeying this new truth, I’m gonna have to change some things in my life, I’m gonna have to quit this, or I’m gonna have to start this. But still, if there was some excitement, some spiritual passion that you can see the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit in your life, remember that? remember those days? But then for some of us, he has to call in his angel backup band, you know, they tune up the heavenly steel guitar. And if you’re listening, you would hear you know, love me anymore. Because some of us don’t. The obedience test. Here’s one you like the giving test, some of you like or some of you liking the giving test. Like, oh, john, don’t go there. Oh, we’re going there. JOHN 316, you know the word. Here’s one. Look at this. For God so loved the world. And he posted heart emojis on his Facebook page. There was a forgot some of the world he talked about all the Christian books, he was reading. God’s love the world that he put a fish bumper sticker on his SUV. Now, let’s say forgot to love the world He gave His only begotten son. He gave His only begotten son. You know, every people in football games, pagans know this verse. They know that, okay, God basically is proving his love by his giving. Romans five eight, makes it even more clear, God proves his own love for us. He didn’t just talk about I love y’all, but you’re going to hell. God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, when we didn’t deserve it, Christ died for us, He gave His Son, his only begotten Son. For us. It’s the giving test to giving tests. Second Corinthians drills down on it. Paul says, I want you to be leaders in the spirit of cheerful giving. This is one way to prove that your love is real. And it goes beyond mere words. Somebody says, well, john, I want you to know that you can give without loving I know that you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. I’ve seen people that I think you’re alright, you’re giving because you feel you need to. And so it’s not automatic that you love because you give. But if you really do love you will give. That’s his point. That’s his point in Scripture. So according to God, it’s the proof is love. And it’s the proof in your life of your love or your lack of love. That’s God’s word. You know, I don’t like that and take it up with Jesus. That’s his word. And you can fool me, you can fool me because I’m not, you know, going into the giving database and checking Unless Unless we’re looking at hiring you or putting you in a leadership position. And then I’m gonna check you’re given. Why why you have no right. I have every right. Why? Because the Bible says that we’re a man’s heart is there will his treasure be also, that’s a proof of where your heart is. You show me your checkbook, I’ll tell you what’s important to you. That’s his point. And if Jesus ain’t important enough for you to give an ante, you know, and to ties, then we don’t need to be raising you up in a leadership position. That’s just, that’s just smart people. If God gives a test, and it’s very clear, then we’re going to look at it. So then, you know, I would go in and look and I have the girls say, Hey, I say, you know, so and so Tyler, how they doing? Because we’re thinking about raising them. There’s not a threat. It’s just I’m telling you. It’s a test from Jesus. You might not like it, but it is. where your treasure is there your heartbeat. So, and by the way, that this is not going, Oh, man, the Church must be hurting money. John’s talking about money. No, no, we’re just talking about your heart, you know, your first love. And this is one of the measures of it. Amazingly, praise the Lord when COVID came. And we realized what it was going to mean. I’m like, Oh, my goodness. You know, I had no idea what would do to our church, our ministries, but also our giving. And we have amazingly, we’re at like, 95% of where we need to be giving wise 95% so praise got a clap for that. Praise God for that. So that means that a bunch of folks get it a bunch of folks get it hallelujah. Right. So I mean, that was real. I was when Dan came and told me that I’m like, Yes, praise the Lord, because I know some churches that have gone out of business, because the people are like, Well, I’m not there, you know, so I’m not being ministered to. And you know, this TV thing is, you know, it’s give maybe a little bit and they just cut they’re given out and I’ve known some churches that they’re gone. They’re done because of COVID and people’s hearts there. So and by the way, this extends not just to my left for Jesus. My love for Jesus’s church. I don’t know if you noticed, if you’re paying attention to our text, he says, you know, in a lot of the versions, it says you’ve left your first love. In this one expands out a little bit. And it says, You left your first love of me and of others other believers. And you’re like, Where’d that come from? The it’s interesting. A lot of different theologians differ on what he’s talking about. First Love is done by love of Jesus, love of Jesus church, both and, and and I think that’s the, if you look at the the, the text, the key text, when somebody says, All right, Jesus sum up the whole law and the prophets. What do you say remember, he said, You have to sum up the whole Old Testament for you. Alright, let me sum it up. You should love the Lord guy like God, love thy heart and soul in mind. And the second is the second commandment like unto you should love your neighbor as you love yourself. On these two rests the whole law, you can distill down the whole Old Testament basically into that, if you’re talking about God’s commands, and so here, I think when you stop it at first love, I think he’s including both. First john three, if we love our Christian Brothers and sisters, it proves we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Still dead. And it’s amazing who can lose their first love. in marriage, for your Savior for your church, I mean, any of us. Apostle Peter did hear the Apostle Peter. Jesus said, Hey, dudes, you know, I’m gonna be crucified. And all y’all are gonna betray me, you’re all gonna run. And when a Peters Peters like, well, they might because they’re a bunch of sissy girly man’s but not me, Lord, not me. I’m here. I’m here. And then all the rest of it. Yeah, we’re here. Do you remember what happened when they came and got him and then they all ran and fled one of them. JOHN, who’s writing this, if you remember, they tried to grab him in and they grabbed his clothes, and he just ran out of his clothes. So he’s running naked, right to get away. And Peter follows what at a distance. So Peter is trying to keep his word following the distance, but then remembered some little girl accused him. I think the year one of that Jesus followers was Peter, go, you’re sorry, I’ve got a problem with it. He lies, lie, lie, cuss lie. So now he’s feeling Then Jesus said, Hey, when you do that, by the way, the COC is going to grow. The rooster is gonna grow and the rooster krub bam. And now Peter feels like what he’s a failure. He’s miserable. Jesus dies. And so he’s just totally thinking, I’m a loser. I’m a loser. I’m a stinking loser. And even after Jesus resurrected, he keeps going back to how he denied Christ. So Jesus seeks him out Peters going back to fishing. That was his profession. And so he talks the other apostles, Hey, guys, let’s just go fishing. And some people thinking, Man, let’s just ditch it all and go back to what we used to do. Either way, they’re out there fishing Jesus on the shore. Hey, like Who is that? And Peter goes, it’s the Lord. He jumps out of the boat you can get something and Jesus there already got some fish cooking. And some Jesus feeds and here’s a look at what Jesus doing. I love this. JOHN 21 after breakfast, Jesus at Simon Peter, Simon, Simon Jonah, or son of john, do you love me more than these? He asked it in front everybody. Peters like Yes, Lord. You know, I love you. She said that Feed my lambs. So they give me a little more. Jesus said, repeated the question, Simon, son of john, do you love me? Yes, Lord, Peter said, You know I love you. Then take care of my sheep is that little more fish? Third time he has Simon son of john, do you love me? Peter was hurt. The Jesus asked the question a third time. Why? Because he denied him three times. thank Jesus making a point. These hold back. He said, Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you. Jesus said then feed my sheep. If you love me, you’re going to be concerned about my people is his point. Do you say you love me? You brag about your love? Okay. All right, then let’s see it in how you help feed other people.

How you help take care of my people. How you serve my people. Don’t tell me you love me and just come to church and that like a Christian consumer. That’s not love. Feed me. Bless me. Listen to me, me. It’s all about me. Let’s say chick fil a. My pleasure. My pleasure. My pleasure. No, guess what? You’re supposed to be behind the counter to serving in some type of ministry and some type of capacity. Amen. That’s what this thing is. This is this is not chick fil a. This is the body of Christ. This is the Church of God. So he’s got Peter, if you say you love me, all right, you denied me three times. Now three times you’ve said in the presence of these dudes that you love me. Then I prove it. Prove it. Prove it. How do I prove it Lord, not just with words, Feed my sheep. Get out there and get doing utilize your spiritual gifts that I have blessed you with to bless others because Peter, it’s not all about you. Yes, you screwed up. Yes. You you you lived through your teeth. Yes, you thought that you could carry around in your own strength and stand up for me and your own strength and you were proved to be wrong. And now you’re embarrassed as mess. All right, Peter, all right, but it’s not about you get over yourself. Get over yourself. Feed my sheep, this church, my church, any church is not just there to meet my needs. Now that’s a part of it. Yes. But my needs get met while I am busy blessing others with their needs to. That’s his point. Get back to the first love of others. It’s not all about me. It’s not all about you. Let me while I’m here, just warn some of you about something. Honestly, I’ve had some I don’t know if I’ve ever said this publicly. But I’ve said it in staff meetings. There’s thing out there that I call you’ve heard of the Seven Year Itch in marriage. There’s a thing out there the church members Seven Year Itch. You know, you first come into any church, but I’m talking about our church right now. And it’s exciting, man. It’s exciting. Things are going on, you know, it’s new, new building new staff, new, you know, everything new thing for my kids, it’s wonderful all man is so cool, come to my church. But after a while. It’s church, you’re used to it, you get comfortable, you get bored. You hear about some different church, some different ministry, some greener grass. And the temptation is to go, oh, man, I know now what has happened, what has happened, what has happened in most scenarios, you’ve left your first laugh. You’ve left your first lap of God’s church that he called you to. And I believe with all my heart that God calls every that he says he calls every part of the body together.

He’s not talking about the universal church, folks. Because there’s no way that there’s somebody who’s suffering over in another country, I don’t know about I can feel that. But when you’re suffering, I can feel it. You know, we’re supposed to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. The other commands, the other one and other commands in the New Testament are all local church. what he’s talking about, you know, that loving feeling, he’s talking about, I believe, the local church. And I’ve, I’ve heard people say, Well, I just don’t feel like my needs are being met. When’s the last time you met somebody else’s needs? in this church, by you demanded a lot of you, a lot of you are, but I’m talking about it as your hearts cry. I’m just not getting my needs met. Because it’s all about you. Right? You know, that when I learned the most, when I have to teach you folks some new truth that I haven’t totally wrapped my mind around. When I have to take on some some tough subject, that I know that I’m going to have people in these seats ticked off at me about, you know, who benefits more than anybody me? You know, when I learned the most when I was in the Navy, and they said, Hey, we want you to you know, you’re a new Christian take over the singles class, because you know, you’re bringing these guys from your ship, and I’m like, Oh, my goodness. And I learned more than I ever taught them. And I was blessed more than they were even though they said, No, thanks, man, that really blessed me. You are blessed when you’re blessing others. It’s as simple as that. That’s how God designed it. So how are you showing your love to your brothers and sisters here? It’s not about you. It’s not all about you. As long as Point Harbor, listen to me, as long as Jesus allows me to be your lead pastor, I want us all to love Jesus with the first love passion. I never want us to get to the point where it just becomes Oh, well, you know what, what Jesus did? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

All those things. Thank you for that. Jesus. Yeah, let’s take the Lord’s Supper. Okay, check the boxes there. No, no, I want us to realize, and that’s really what the Lord’s Supper is about, to realize what it took to save our miserable, sinful, nasty souls from hell. He couldn’t do it with just a fee out he couldn’t do it with just an angel troupe. He had to give he had to give his only begotten son and his son had to die and shed his blood and suffer for me and suffer for you. And as long as I’m remembering what it took then I love him for that. My love starts to slip when I think that Well yeah, he should he should have died for me. I’m you know, not as bad as other people. I want Jesus as he’s walking invisibly in our midst that he is not only to say, Man, Point Harbor, I’ll tell you what, you’re standing for the truth. You are busy in ministry. You know, you’re starting back when a lot of churches aren’t even starting back to the next year and you’re planting churches across the world. you’re posting all this stuff online, and you’re upping your game there. I want him to say and you still love me Point Harbor. You don’t just do all this stuff. But I see I feel that I am still first at Point Harbor Church. Yeah, you’re imperfect. Yeah, you’ve got your issues. Yeah, you screw up as a church. But I tell you what, I still feel the love. I still can see the love. I can see your heartbeat. I can see your passion. As I walk amongst you in your worship services and in your point groups in your ministry events. I still see that you love me. I still see That. You might say, john, okay, all right. Boom.

I may have I may have slipped, I may have lost my first love maybe some of Jesus or I’m just kind of going through the motions and it’s gotten all comfortable and you know, maybe boring or whatever, I’m just checking boxes or maybe I’ve loved I’ve lost my first love of his church Point Harbor, what? What’s the prescription he gives it, thankfully, chapter two, verse five, look how far you fall and turn back to me do the work. She did it the first if you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. So the first step is recognize recognize verse five, look how far you fallen realize you lost that loving feeling, you lost it, or you’re losing it and admit that, alright, something’s wrong in the right eye is probably me to repent. If you don’t repent, he uses the R word. I will come and remove your lampstand from its place amongst the churches. He doesn’t say Ah, it’s okay don’t know Dori, I understand you’re going through a lot. You’re going through COVID I get it.

Now he says repent, you repent, and then return. turned back to me. Repentance, what is repentance? repentance is a change of mind, which leads to a change of heart and attitude, which leads to a change of direction. That’s what repentance is. So return back to me and renew number four, renew, do the works you did at the first return back to me. So get back to that love you. You have to come back and start doing those things you did before with a passion like you had before that first kiss with Miss Robin, that was awesome. and subsequent kisses. And we still kiss in case you’re wondering. But a few years ago, I’ve been married for what? 40 years going on 41 years now a few years ago, she came to me and said, You know what? I said What baby? She said we need counseling. No man wants to hear that. I said, you might. I’m okay. So now we need counsel. We need counseling. I mean, she was adamant. So I’m like, crap. So she said we need to find the counselor. I said, nobody around here. Why?

Because my pastor around here and I’m proud of that guy. So I said, Alright, go ahead. I put it on her, which is probably bad. But you find what she found. Online, Florida, a ministry down there. guy who used to work at Liberty University. He was alright, I found this. I looked at him like, okay, you’re serious about this, aren’t you? So yeah, we need counseling. something’s changed. And there was no scandalous stuff. It was just, I guess, that loving feeling. And so we went down there, took the time off, took a week off, went down there and met with a dude five days, five days. He told me the first day I was in there. He said, You don’t want to be here, do you? I said, What was your first clue? No, I don’t. I don’t think I need you. I told him I said, Maybe I’m a little arrogant. I said, I think I know basically everything you’re going to tell us. He said are you doing it? I said so God worked on my heart. God worked on her heart. We go back almost every year. I’m gonna go back in a couple months. Why john? Was your marriage a bad? No, my marriage is good. My marriage is good. It really is. And I love her. But I realized I need a reset. This dude needs a reset. Because you know what life happens? Life happens. And so then you know you get busy, you get busy, you start taking each other for granted. It just kind of comes with a territory, you turn into a machine, you just into the momentum, you lose the the emotion for the motion and and so we just haven’t scheduled to go back and I know it’s going to be somewhat painful. That’s why sometimes messages like this are painful for you because God’s going reset, reset, reset. It’s you It’s not all about you, but you think it’s you. So get back repent.

You don’t want God to allow your marriage to burn out the candle in your marriage to burn out and you don’t want God to remove the candlestick for your church. Or the people you say are my brothers and sisters in Christ right? So what do you need to do recognize where you’re at? Repent, return renew, just don’t dare him to take the flame away Don’t dare him to take the flame boy let’s pray God I pray that you would help us to have that first love and Lord that’s hard to quantify. That’s hard to quantify because when things are all new when when a relationship is new man there’s there’s so many different emotions that you can’t just conjure back up when a church is new, the same thing. But Lord, you say there’s a way to for you to keep your first love. And by showing it in obedience, when you don’t want to obey, especially in it by giving. Maybe when you don’t want to give especially but you still obey and do that. He put me first. He put me first putting my people first before yourself. But he has bad your eyes closed. I don’t know where you’re at marriage wise, church wise, Jesus wise. But right now Why don’t you say Our Lord? Help me to know Holy Spirit speak to my heart? Have I lost my first love? Or am I in the process? Maybe of losing it? My first love and for you?

Am I just taking you for granted? It’s kind of all become kind of, yeah, casual. My first love of this church. I first came here and said, Oh, man, man, this is awesome boy. And now I’m comfortable. Bored. I want to own it. Or am I losing my first love for my spouse? Am I there? heard some bad news this week about one of our couples just chucking it married a long time. What happened? guarantee and somewhere down the trail. You can find one or both of them. Probably both of them. Just got used to it. And then became annoyed with it and lost their first love. or help us to put you first. To have that even though it’s not new anymore. Help us to have the passion, the realization of who you are and how much you love your church. And how important your church is to you that you said you died church. And then we husbands are supposed to love our wives that way that’s a high bar. So God help us to get it. Bring us back to repentance. What do we lose? So in Jesus name, and all God’s kids said? Amen. Amen.

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