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Today’s Truth

You have forsaken your first love… Repent and do the things you did at first (Revelation 2:4b-5 NIV).

Friend to Friend

I’d watched a movie about the end times that left me longing for a few answers. I grabbed my Bible and sat to read from the book of Revelation. In this apocalyptic, end-of-the-Bible book, John speaks of a vision from Christ that he received while on the island of Patmos. In this vision, Jesus unveils events yet to come – which, ultimately, echo His eternal love, power, and justice.

In chapter two, the words leapt from the page to my heart as Jesus spoke to the Church in Ephesus. His tone was heavy and serious, yet intimate, tender, and loving. Clearly this message was meant for Christians throughout history, not just the church of Ephesus. It was meant for me – and for you.

Jesus spoke to his church, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary” (Revelation 2:2-3 NIV).

While reading this, I sensed the Lord speaking to me. Personally…

I know you work hard, Gwen. I know you spend countless, thankless hours doing mundane tasks like laundry, running errands, vacuuming floors, cleaning toilets, preparing meals, and managing relationships. I know you’re exhausted and wish you were more productive. I know you serve at church. I know of your good intentions to spend quality time with me even though your often-inverted-priorities and distractions keep us from deeply connecting far too often…

His voice continued the heart-whispers as mine swelled…

I know ______ … I know ______ … I know ______ … I know YOU…

And I see.

I see what you’re doing for others. I see the pressure you’re under and care. I am fully aware of the pain you’ve endured and are enduring. I see your temptations and your struggles. I see all that you think is hidden.

I am El Roi.

I see you.

Now…

SEE ME.

More.

Much More.

Your glances toward me are fleeting. Flippant. Casual. Less-than.

Your worship is often half-hearted… somewhat of an obligation. At times your service to Me is joyless and sterile – a going-through-the-motions of sorts. It should be a vibrant offering.

I am not an obligation.

I am GOD.

I am your Redeemer. I am your Savior. I am your Healer. I am your Strength. I am your Deliverer. I am your Comfort. I am your Portion. I am your Counselor. I am your Hope.

I AM.

Overwhelmed and undone in His presence, I continued to read from the Word.

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:4-5a NIV).

Repent.

Return to Me… your first love.

Do the things you did at first.

I grasped for memories that would take me there. I thought back to when I was more on fire… more driven by a white-hot, blazing love for Jesus.

When was I there – at the height of my love for God? What was I doing?

I wrestled and contemplated… and confessed… and bowed low in my heart.

When were YOU at the height of your love for God? What things were you doing?

THE CHARGE for each of us today is this: Do the things you did.

Return to your first love. Return to perfect love. To pure love. To holy, powerful, sacred, compassionate, everlasting, merciful, grace-filled, trust-worthy, faithful love. Return to Jesus.

Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Abide with Him. Seek Him.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…” (Revelation 2:7 NKJV)

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Who am I that You are mindful of me? That You know me? That You see me? That You love me? I’m sorry for being a wandering worshiper. As I consider Your mercy, I confess these things: ______________. Draw me close, once again, with Your blood-stained grace and ignite an unquenchable fire of love deep within my heart, my soul, and my mind.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

What is one thing you did then that you can do today? Will you do it? If you accept this first-love charge, leave a comment telling me about “what you did then”, or simply say, “I will do the things I did!”

While you are in the comments section, take time to encourage and pray for one another.

More from the Girlfriends

Got some back-burner heart dreams that you’re ready to prioritize and make happen? Do you desire to be mentored professionally and challenged as you progress toward your goals? Gain focus, bolster your courage and sharpen your competencies through 1-on-1 personal, ministry or business coaching with Gwen Smith. Spots are limited. Learn more at GwenSmith.net/Coaching.

© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

43 Responses to “Do These Things”

  1. Anita says:

    Gwen thank you for this and all devotions you provide. You are so good at sharing that I feel like I know you. The statement that hit me hardest today is about half-hearted worship. Since things were shut down for COVID I have had a hard time wanting to go to church and not just staying home and watching a sermon on TV. When I go, I am often distracted by what is going on around me. At 70 years old I am not as excited about anything as I was when I was saved at 8 years old. I am bothered by my mediocre thinking at this point. I am praying for my joy to return and my zest for corporate worship to be renewed.

  2. Audrey says:

    “I will do the things I did!” …and I will pray for those who read this and feel the Lord speaking to their heart♥

  3. Kristin says:

    I am in a season of change. Abundance but busy-ness. I need to come back to God. To put him first. To spend quiet, focused time alone with him as I used to. That will help to bring my heart to where it used to be. Thank you, sisters, for your prayers. I pray that you also regain your zeal in the Lord.

  4. Marlene says:

    I will do the things I did

  5. R.Y Heijningen says:

    May God grant you a year of blessing, health and happiness.

    Thank you all for giving me a daily reminder to read the bible and be thankful for the things God is showing me.
    Sometimes life is so hectic that I dont take time to sit, read and pray. Eventhough I know that that is exactly what I need at the time.
    Your daily posts give me that little nudge to sit and read.

    At the beginning of this new year I would like to ask for prayer from you all.
    In one of my classes, a little boy has been diagnosed with cancer. His name is Niels and he is 10 years old.
    The hospital has send the family home, they can not do anything for him anymore. I believe that God can heal him in an instant, if in His will. Thats why I ask you to pray with me. I will ask others as well in the Netherlands. Some of my other students are praying too. (The school is not a Christan school, otherwise I could ask them all.)

    As a mum I cannot imagine what this means to the parents. Seeing your child suffer is terrible and heartbreaking. Please pray for them also.

    Thank you so much!

    With love,

    Ruth Yvonne.

  6. Sharla says:

    This devotional reminded me of Martha. I get to cleaning, working, helping, instead of being Mary and sitting down and giving Jesus my undivided attention. Since the pandemic I will zoom church on Sundays and during songs of worship I will be making breakfast or not participating like I would if I was present. I feel God is telling me to sit and worship me during this time instead of just sitting down for listening to the Pastor preach. Kristin like you I need to focus on Him during the whole worship service not just the sermon time that will bring my heart where it used to be. I am praying with you Kristin and my sisters for that focus and zeal in the Lord. I need to meditate on His word day and night.

  7. Sharon says:

    I put God on the back burner as well and so want to get back to loving Him first like I did before. Life so gets in the way but I know He is always there for me waiting. I so love Jesus and want that burning desire again.

  8. Syreeta says:

    This devotional hit me right between the eyes today!!! This is exactly what I’ve been dealing with! I’ve been in ministry for many years and my focus lately has been off! Help me LORD!!! Refocusing time! Thanks so much for letting the LORD use you!!!

  9. Cheryl says:

    This is SO good!!! One of my New Year’s resolutions has been to get back to that close fellowship I used to have with Jesus! I’ve heard a remake of an old song recently that speaks on this issue totally! Listen and enjoy!

    https://youtu.be/uFl_TiEj9FQ

  10. Karen says:

    Thank you for today’s message Gwen. I’m expecting… expecting God to move in mighty and powerful ways in all of our lives. I’m learning that we have to humble ourselves, seek his face through prayer, fasting and studying the word of God!
    I want the fire and zeal of God to reign in my heart, Lord help me to seek you and draw closer and closer to you. I Love you Lord !
    I will do the things I did!”

  11. Edna says:

    I will do the things I did in Jesus name!

  12. EC says:

    I will start my day off with devoted time to pray and listen to our Lord to align my life with the truth of God. I’m praying for all of us that we may draw closer to God.

  13. Micki says:

    I will change and do the things I did! Praise God for the gift of toast to have a fresh start. I pray that everyone who reads this will feel it to their core! Thank you God for loving us enough to get us today. For giving us the opportunity to come back to you fully on fire as in the beginning. Thank you for being I Am in my life. This is my prayer for all who ask. In Jesus name, Amen

  14. KB says:

    Bible study! With other women; just like when my kids were growing up and I was blessed to be growing in the Word and figuring out life as a young wife and mother. Only it’s a very different season. I’m recently divorced and living in a part of the country that is only 2% churche(d). I have not been in a solid Bible study for years. This is the first thought that came to mind. Thank you Gwen, for challenging me to first repent and then seek out a group of women I can study God’s word with.

    I was cross with Mary’s devotion yesterday because I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to me! Now I’m certain y’all are in cahoots with One another.
    😊

  15. Carol says:

    I will do the things I did.

  16. Adrianne says:

    I will do the things I did

  17. Tamara says:

    I too am in a season of change, of growth. I will commit to building the intimate relationship with God again, listening for his voice instead of throwing my burdens at his feet. I will rely on him to show me how to make up for my lack of energy and knowledge. I commit to a daily quite time with just him and I, opening my spiritual ears/heart to His gentle whispers.

  18. Michèle says:

    I will do the things I did, especially finding more time with God every day during this year.

  19. Julie says:

    The business of life and running a business has caused me to spend less quality time with my Lord. This devotional today pierced my heart. I’m so tired most the time and do little to rest at and enjoy my time with God. I want to return to my days of just being in the presence of God and not be rushed to just check a box.

    I pray for all who have that desire to get back to where we were. In His name

  20. Vickie says:

    I will search my heart and mind to do the things I did.

  21. Bridget says:

    I asked God to refresh my memory so I’ll be able to do the things I did.

  22. Hope says:

    Lord, I will not doubt my faith or fruit-bearing but trust that you are with me, no matter what I SEE OR FEEL.

  23. Dawn says:

    I will be more intentional about my personal Bible study..beyond reading and reflecting on the scriptures included in the devotional. I will pray when I’m walking instead of chatting with friends on the phone. That used to be such a special time for my talks with Jesus.

  24. Doris says:

    I’m 76 and I’ve been feeling too old to be of any use. Now I’m realizing what God wants from me is love and devotion. I need to spend much more time alone with Him. To be still and know that He is God. Please pray for me that I get back to where I need to be.

  25. leni says:

    Thank you Gwen and your blessed ministries for reigniting my love for our saviour and my walk with him to go back to amazing things I did before. Happy new year and blessings to all

  26. Gail says:

    I will do the things I did. I will do those things that He continues to tug at my heart to do again and again….

  27. Ruth says:

    I will return to my first love, and I will do the things I did.

  28. Ronda says:

    I want to do what God wants me to do, be what he wants me to be and go when and where He wants me to go. Your devotion today read my thoughts and revealed God heart to me and my walk with Him. I thought I was doing everything I could and should but you pulled back the cover of “ good intentions “ and caused me to repent and seek God anew … 🙏🏻💔🙏🏻❤️

  29. Ronda Gooch says:

    I want to do what God wants me to do, be what he wants me to be and go when and where He wants me to go. Your devotion today read my thoughts and revealed God heart to me and my walk with Him. I thought I was doing everything I could and should but you pulled back the cover of “ good intentions “ and caused me to repent and seek God anew … 🙏🏻💔🙏🏻❤️

  30. Carol says:

    I’m in the same boat ladies!
    One of my assoc. Pstrs. shared a video with me today that has lifted my heart, based on Matt. 8:27″ Who is this? that even the winds and sea obey Him?”
    Ok. That says it right there!
    Jesus, is bigger, and more powerful than the situation we are dealing with; we just have to have the faith to fall back into the arms of God and know He will catch us!
    We just have to rely on Him more then the fear and worry we feel.
    With every change that comes, Jesus is still the same and we need to remember He is there for us.

  31. Erica says:

    Thank you for this awesome devotional. I dint grew up Christian but I can remember being 7 or 8 when I would get on my knees and talk to God, in my innocence I would talk from my heart making my prayer a dialog with the most High God as if he was next to me and ofcourse He was, many years and many mistakes later we found each other again and this time I had more knowledge of his might because I became a Christian follower of Jesus Christ I try my best to be close to Him each day, and like many sisters here say life gets in the way specially with 2 teen girls, 7 year old boy and running a small business. I pray this year I can sit down and be that little 8 year old just talking to my Father. I pray peace and joy to all my wonderful sisters in Christ God Bless You All. Amen

  32. Sandra says:

    Yes. I have stopped doing what a knew to do. These days I am so tired. In 2021, my oldest daughter transitioned, this year her daughter (my granddaughter) was murdered. My grandson was in a car accident and now having panic attacks and fear has gripped him. My youngest daughter has had 15 operations. At times I just want to sit down and quit. Oh my, what a word from Revelation. Why was I thinking that God had just left me. My faith has wavered. Not as strong in the word like I use to be. Again, I am so tired to the point that my mind and body aches. But God, I am praying now to receive my zeal and strength back. Yes Lord I hear you.

  33. Karen S says:

    I will do all the things I did!!! Thank you so much!! Catching up on all my devotionals and this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear and what I was looking for. With tears streaming down my face, I prayed the prayer and will continue to pray it. I have felt so lacking lately and reading this touched my heart. Thank you!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8