NIV Devotions for Men - Week of July 23

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Productivity Without Passion

Verse: Revelation 2:1-7      

Recommended Reading:  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ;  Matthew 7:21-23 ;  Luke 10:38-42 ;  1 Corinthians 13

Imagine a marriage in which the husband dutifully earns a living to pay his family’s bills, takes care of the house and cars and sees that his family has the clothing and other things they need. Yet he has lost all tenderness and passion for his wife. Is this a healthy marital relationship?

Productivity without passion. Just as the partners in a marriage can lose their passion for one another and yet carry on, a similar situation can occur in relationships between believers and God. In fact, the church of Ephesus had fallen into this very trap. Jesus noted that this church had “persevered and … endured hardships for my name” ( Revelation 2:3 ). But, he pointedly added, “you have forsaken the love you had at first” ( Revelation 2:4 ).

What about you? When you compare your current relationship with Christ to what it was like when you first began following him, are you just as passionate about knowing him, being with him and worshiping him as you were then? Or do you find yourself busy serving him without bothering to further cultivate your relationship with him?

Sadly, like a marriage without passion, our relationship with God can go through a period during which spiritual passion wanes. We serve the Lord more out of habit or duty than out of a desire to know God more deeply.

Consider this possibility: God might occasionally want us to stop doing for him so that we can concentrate on being with him and recovering the love we had at first. Many dry marriages have been renewed. Dry relationships with the Lord can experience renewed passion and vigor as well. Put your relationship with Christ first, then let your service for him follow as a natural response.

To Take Away

• What feelings did you have when you first followed Christ? What words expressed your passion about knowing him then?

• How does that compare with your current feelings for Christ?

• How can you rediscover your “first love” for your Lord and Savior—renew the passion and vigor of your relationship with him?

• What feelings did you have when you first followed Christ? What words expressed your passion about knowing him then?

• How does that compare with your current feelings for Christ?

• How can you rediscover your “first love” for your Lord and Savior—renew the passion and vigor of your relationship with him?

This devotion is from the NIV New Men's Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

 
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