Sunday, March 8, 2015

Recall The Love You Had At First

Do you remember when you first learned the Bible’s wonderful hope for the future, the heartwarming love that God has for mankind, and experienced the true international brotherhood? Do you remember how you felt invigorated and gained a newfound love for life? Maybe now it has been a while. Now you are in a groove of daily living as a Christian and maybe gotten a little bored? Being in a groove can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Consider the old vinyl records that played music so many decades ago. For the needle to stay in the groove is exactly what it was supposed to do. For the needle to skip over tracks (grooves) was damaging to the precious records and irritating to the human ear. But sweet music came when the needle stayed faithfully in the groove.

But staying in the groove was not always what the listener wanted. Sometimes the listener wanted to skip ahead so they would gingerly lift the arm and gently set it on the track of choice. In today’s world, DJs love to take a turn table and brutally move it back and forth for special effects. In this case the music is not as important as the effect. Still, the needle faithfully does what the user wants.

Following the illustration, the path (groove) of Christian loyalty can be likened to a needle that follows the groove and faithfully “plays” the Kingdom message without wavering. However, at times changes can jazz up our lives. Changing the “tune” from “house to house” to witnessing in business areas, rural areas, areas less worked, foreign lands and other situations can be like the DJ that gets everyone (our minds, hearts, emotions, and more) excited and rejuvenated.

But coming back to the idea of the feeling we first had when we realized what a treasure we had found. We enjoyed learning. We loved the Bible discussions and having our questions answered. It was as wonderful as a blind man seeing for the first time. Can even a person once blind take their sight for granted? It is possible. After a long time of seeing, such a person may become over confident and not paying attention to where they walk. But when they first gained their sight, they marveled as they took in all they could. Just like that person, after having known God, the Bible and Christian living for a while, it has happened that believers fall into a rut. Just like the formerly blind person who needs to recall how precious sight is, we may need to remind ourselves how precious our spiritual sight is. How?

One way is to regain a love of learning. There is so much in the Bible that is NOT covered as frequently as many main Bible topics are at Christian meetings. For example, just recently I was reading Jude 11 wherein Jude mentions Cain, Balaam, and Korah. Have you ever wondered why those three specific men? I did. Here is some personal observations I made about them. Would you like to rejuvenate your love of learning? Start reading the Bible daily. If you read just 15 minutes every day, you could easily finish the whole Bible in less than 2 years. The schedule I set for myself is a bit more aggressive. But don’t just read it. Make notes about things you read that you do not understand. Then research them. Use them as conversation pieces to see what others may have learned about them. Yes, learning will invigorate you in ways you may have forgotten.

A second way to invigorate your love of the Bible and Christian life is to find someone else to teach it to. I can pretty much guarantee you that as you teach someone else, they will come up with questions and phrase things in ways you never considered before. Maybe when you first learned the point they are inquiring about, it was a non-issue for you – you just accepted it. But now that you’ve been challenged to explain it, you realize you didn’t understand it clearly enough to convince someone who does have an issue with it. When you find the answer and successfully explain it, you have taught not only your student but yourself as well.

Taking all these actions will help you recall “the love you had at first.”

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