What are the characteristics of the first love? Here is an outline of some:
The first love is hot. There is nothing cold about it. Cold love is not first love.
It is spontaneous. It flows on its own. The object of love so possesses the person that love just flows out to Him. When the first love for Jesus burns in a heart, Jesus is loved in an effortless way.
It is extravagant. The first love spares nothing and holds nothing back. It gives everything to Jesus and the one cry from a heart with such love is that it hasn’t more to give. It gives so much that onlookers consider the giver foolish or wasteful. Calculative love is not first love. If a person has to be reminded to give to the Lord, then his love is not first love. The person who gives the least possible has no first love.
First love gives all that it has for the moment. It does not store things to give in the future when the Beloved has needs at the moment. Those who make wills of money for the Lord’s work in the future while the current needs of the work are abundant cannot be said to have the first love.
First love is full of joy. All who have lost the joy for the Lord have lost their first love.
First love finds everything in the Beloved and seeks nothing outside of Him. There are many who want the Lord Jesus plus something else. Jesus alone does not satisfy them. He is precious. He is needed but He is not enough. The way they scramble after other things simply says that Jesus is not enough.
First love does everything to satisfy the slightest desire of the Beloved. Those who have a first love for Jesus never find His demands hard. They are just happy to have a request from Him and they consider it a privilege to grant that request. Every desire of His becomes law to them. However costly some obedience may be, provided He is the one who demands it, the lover finds it pleasurable.
First love knows no complaints, sighs, and so on, for these are evidence of dissatisfaction.
First love does everything to be in the presence of the Beloved. It takes extra time for prayers, for Bible study and for everything that will keep that one in the presence of the Beloved. Those who maintain a first love for Jesus find His word sweet and they are ever reading it. They find prayer sweet; for they are totally fulfilled in talking to Him.
First love talks increasingly about the Beloved. They cannot keep quiet. They want to tell everyone, “I have found Him.” Those who do not witness or who witness because they are forced by some external factor have no first love.
First love does everything to get rid of all that displeases the Beloved. Those who love sin or practise it have no first love for Jesus; for He hates sins.
First love always takes the Lord’s side.To her, He is absolutely correct and all who do not see with Him are very wrong. It knows no compromise.
To make it clear for everyone, I just outline here the characteristics of those who have lost their first love for the Lord or who have never had any first love for Him.
They are cold and formal in their relationship to the Lord.
Nothing flows out of them to the Lord. Their praises are forced. So much of the mind comes in to push them on.
They give grudgingly to the Lord and they calculate everything they give Him to ensure that they do not give too much.
They store things now saying that they will give them for the Lord’s work when the need arises, but they close their eyes to the needs before them now.
They find no joy in the Lord and in the things of the Lord. They sit miserably through meetings and do everything as people on whom it is forced.
They do not find Jesus satisfying; so they try to win the world to add to Him so as to find satisfaction.
They find the demands of the Lord, His word, His Church very hard and sometimes repulsive. They do the minimum that they can do without being seen for the rebels that they are. Inwardly, they are sometimes disgusted with the Lord and His demands. To them, He is sometimes the hard Master.
They complain and sigh because at the deepest level, they are dissatisfied.
They do not enjoy being with Jesus alone. Private prayers, personal Bible study and all forms of personal and private fellowship with Him are not very enjoyable. They are not at home in His presence. Often, they do not know what to say to Him when they are before Him in prayer. It is like two strangers locked up in a room.
They find it difficult to witness about the Lord and do everything possible not to talk about Him. When forced by circumstances, they will give a tract to ease their conscience and that is all.
They continue in sins of various forms and are not heart-broken when they let the Lord down.
They sometimes side with unbelievers against the Lord and His disciples. They compromise because somehow they doubt the Lord.