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One of the characteristics of the first-century Christians was their sincere devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. To them, and all Christians, Jesus is precious (1 Pet. 2:7) among many other things. (Click titles of Jesus for a long list of his names and titles in the Bible.) Because Jesus is so vital in so many areas, he is most deserving of our devotion. Since devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ is in the center of God’s will for Christians to attend to, the enemy (the devil) will attack this today as he did back then. Paul’s godly concern regarding this is shown with the Corinthians. He was concerned that false teachers preaching untruths to those Christians would interfere with their devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ:
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Cor 11:3,4)
The Corinthians were wrong to even listen to the false teachers Paul referred to. That would possibly jeopardize their sincere and pure devotion to Christ. We can draw more insights on the importance of devotion to Christ from this passage:
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Cor 7:34,35)
That is how it should be (but often isn’t) among professing Christians. Furthermore, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus touched on us being devoted to either God or money:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Mat 6:24)
Jesus made it clear we can’t have it both ways. If we are going to have God in the center of our lives, nothing or no one can share that unique position with him.
Jesus Our First Love
Similar to the devotion mentioned there is having Jesus as our first love. In fact, if you are walking in a right manner with God, you must have the Lord Jesus as your first love now. If not, this is a very serious offense before the Lord himself, as he mentioned:
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. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Rev 2:5)
The ones addressed had fallen away from having Jesus as their first love. Their devotion to Jesus was less than acceptable. Jesus knew their present state and told them to repent. It was their choice to do that or have their lampstand removed from its place.
Where Are You Now
Are you devoted to Jesus more than money, the pleasures of this life, recreation, entertainment, sports or even another person, including a family member or Mary? With Catholics, devotion to Mary is of major importance, but it is clearly unscriptural and dangerous. It is not Jesus or Mary or even Jesus and Mary. It is Jesus 100% of the way as we trust, follow and obey him. God is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14) and we are to love him first and with all of our heart, soul and mind:
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. (Mat 22:37,38)
If Jesus isn’t your first love now, you must change for your own spiritual good. Remember, if that sad condition is yours, he already knows about it! To remedy your condition you need to remember what you once had, repent and return to those days when you were close to the Lord. This is very serious. Remember, nothing or no one is worth going to hell over. Go by the Bible and be safe. How is your devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ today? God bless you.
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