The dearest idol I have known
(Maria Sandberg, "Glimpses of Heaven!" 1880)
"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love!" Revelation 2:4
Notwithstanding the comfort we may take from the glimpse we had of our glorified Savior's omniscience in our last meditation; in that Jesus knows the sincerity of His people's motives, the greatness of their temptations, and the extent of their patient endurance and labor for His name's sake; yet we must not stop short of the other part of His address to His people, namely, that He knows also their backslidings, their wanderings, their faithlessness to Him who has done so much for them.
"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love!" The Lord says, "I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your espousals. I remember how zealous you once were for My glory, how fervent were your prayers, how strong and ardent your affection for Me. Once you would not have been content with such short and formal prayers; once you would not have listened so carelessly to My Gospel; once you meditated with joy unspeakable on the heavenly home to which I am bringing you. Once you loved Me supremely."
But, "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." Now your thoughts of Heaven are few and cold. Instead of exclaiming, "Oh! what has Jesus bought for me!" etc., you are fearful lest you should be called too soon from this wilderness world, to your happy heavenly home.
Examine yourselves, prove your own selves, watch the first signs of spiritual declension; fear nothing so much as wanderings of heart from Jesus, growing cold towards Him, and fixing your affections too much on the creature.
Often ask yourselves, "Is this the amount of love I shall be satisfied with, when I see Him who has loved me and given Himself for me? When my faith shall be turned to sight — shall I love Jesus thus coldly?"
Endeavor to realize the presence of Jesus now — that will rekindle your fainting love. Endeavor to realize the love of Jesus to your souls — and that will revive your languid affection. Look back on the affection for Jesus which you once experienced, remember from whence you are fallen, and repent and do the first works!
"The dearest idol I have known,
Whatever that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee!"