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« Bible Study on First Corinthians | Main | Why the Flesh Must Not Rule Your Life »

Guarding Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. [1]

Matthew 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 

Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:  3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.  4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.  [2]

Three things stand out to us in these passages:

  • 1. The heart must be protected.
  • 2. The Spirit of God must be kept in full supply.
  • 3. Your love for God must be kept fresh and renewed.


“Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

A. The Demand of Love

That was tragic because the one thing that Christ wanted in His church more than anything else was love. He demanded it.

John 21:15-17 says, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonah, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the third time ….” When love toward Him grew cold, it broke His heart. That is why He said, “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Rev. 2:4).

B. The Disappearance of Love

You say, “What do you mean by first love?” It is the love that first springs up in an individual’s heart.


Perhaps you have met Christians who, at the time that Christ came into their life, were greatly in love with Him. But as the years went by, they got all of their doctrine into the right slots and became mechanical Christians. They knew what they believed; they just didn’t have any love.

Paul says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). Love is the message of the church. The world is dying to be loved and we have the message.


Once you lose your love for Jesus Christ, you cease loving one another.

Horizontal relationships depend upon your vertical relationship with God. If you find that there is someone you can’t seem to love, then you may have left your first love for Christ. A warm, expressive, vital love for Jesus Christ translates into love for people.

In 1 John 3:14-17 the Apostle John essentially says, “If you say you love God, but don’t love your brother, you are a liar, because only the love you have for your brother proves that you love God.”

Passion for God

Brother B. J. Thomas spoke to the General Board about losing one’s passion. He said that many preachers and pastors begin well and have great excitement about their ministry in the beginning. After several years, however, they scale back their vision and settle into a maintenance program. Why ?

a. Ability. They stretch to the limits of their ability.

b. Consecration They lose their personal walk with God.

c. Adversity They battle so much adversity that they deplete their reserves.

d. Comfort They reach a level of personal comfort that they plateau.

e. Hopeless They see no results from their labors.

f. Isolation They get no encouragement from their peers.

g. Comparison They compare their meager success to that of others.

Clergy Burnout (Oswald, 1982)

(1) Tendency to feel negative or cynical about church members
(2) Loss of enthusiasm for job
(3) Lowered emotional investment in work
(4) Fatigue and irritability
(5) Cynical and sarcastic humor
(6) Increased withdrawal from church members
(7) Increased rigidity in dealing with people
(8) Feelings of isolation and lack of support
(9) Frustration in accomplishing tasks
(10) Increased feeling of sadness
(11) Physical ailments
(12) Lowered enjoyment of intimacy
(13) Tendency to blame others for problems
(14) Tendency to feel guilty much of the time
(15) Feeling of just hanging on until retirement
(16) Sense of emptiness and depletion

Keeping your passion is like flying an airplane. Since the forces of air resistance and gravity never stop working on the aircraft, the need for overcoming them never diminishes.

Principles of Aerodynamics

Flight involves a balance of forces. These forces are THRUST, DRAG, LIFT and WEIGHT.

When Thrust and Drag are equal, the speed of the aircraft through the air (airspeed) will remain constant in smooth air. When Lift and Weight are equal, the aircraft will neither ascend or decend.


Dynamics of Flight


Just as wind friction causes drag in an automobile, aerodynamic friction and displacement of air during flight creates aerodynamic DRAG. Drag occurs any time that air is displaced from its normal stable condition. Air has density and weight, and although compressible, it still requires energy to displace.

  • INDUCED DRAG occurs as a by-product of lift.
  • PARASITE DRAG results from friction with surfaces and appendages, and impact with structures such as struts, landing gear, antennas, etc..

Induced Drag (Just starting to live right triggers resistance)

Induced drag results from the creation of lift. The amount of drag depends on the airfoil design of the wing, its camber and angle of attack. Also due to the way the air flows across the wing during flight, vortices are generated at the wing tips which add to the induced drag component.

Parasite Drag (The devil doesn’t want you saved…not now…not ever!)

Parasite drag is an unwanted resistance of the air to an object traveling through the air. The 3 types of parasite drag are Form, Skin and Interference as demonstrated below.

Form Drag

The form of the object and the effective frontal surface it presents to the air has a significant effect on the amount of drag generated. As shown in (A), a surface such as shown would present much more “frontal” drag than it would is it were rotated 90 degrees as in (B). Drag can be reduced in the aircraft design by streamlining objects such as wing struts to minimize the frontal appearance to the air flow. (RIGHT FORM =RIGHT DOCTRINE AND THINKING)

Skin Friction

Even though the form in (A) above is re-oriented to shape (B), there is still some form drag. In addition, there is friction between the skin of the surface and the air flow. It is obvious that if the surface is dirty, has frost, ice or other obstructions, that drag will increase. Effects of skin drag can be reduced by smooth surfaces and flush riveting in the design, and by keeping the surface clean and waxed by the owner. (PAY ATTENTION TO BUILDUP ON WINGS)

Interference Drag

Surfaces at angles to each other as in (C) create turbulence in the region of the joint. This occurs most frequently at the intersection of the fuselage and wing

( LIFE -CHANGING DECISIONS MAY CAUSE NEW DRAG eg.: marriage, move, job change)

Human Factors





Lack of awareness

Lack of knowledge



I am a professional

Human attitudes

The exchange of information

Company culture


Ways to Keep Your Passion for God Alive

What we are actually are talking about is staying focused on the right things of life.

  • Stay connected to the Body.
  • Expose your mind and heart to the ministry of the Word of God.
  • Let nothing interfere with your personal devotion of reading and praying.
  • Wash, clean, dust, wax, polish, maintain.
  • Consciously, deliberately put God first in everything.
  • Keep giving, loving, serving, working.
  • Get your recognition and gratitude from God, not others.

“Remember, therefore, from where thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent.”

A. The Result of Lost Love

Christ says that losing your first love is the first step to eventual destruction. You say, “Does that mean everyone in Ephesus lost their salvation?” No, it means that the testimony of the church is lost. When a church begins to fall out of love with Jesus Christ, that is the first step in the downward progression. Ultimately, the light goes out. The physical lights may still be on, and someone may be speaking in the pulpit, but the spiritual light of the church is out.

B. The Request of Christ

Jesus asks the church at Ephesus to do three things: remember, repent, and repeat. In verse 5, Jesus says, “Remember, therefore, from where thou art fallen, and repent, and do [repeat] the first works ….” In other words, go back and start warming up that love relationship with Christ.


First, Jesus says that they should remember what they had. Men, have you ever had your wife say, “You take me for granted. You didn’t before. Remember how you used to treat me?” In other words, “Where is that first love?” In like manner, Christ says to Ephesus, “Remember the warmth of that exciting love we had at the beginning?” If your Christianity is cold orthodoxy, will you remember the warmth and thrill that you had when Christ first became real in your life? The first time Paul went to Ephesus he told the people how real Christ was. Now Jesus says, “Remember those days.”

Next, Jesus asks the Ephesians to…


He wanted the Ephesians to say, “God, I’m sorry. I want that warm love again.” Then Jesus tells how to get it back.

Spiritual Renewal is not an option!

5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  6  Which he shed on us abundantly  b  through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.  [3]

[1] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Pr 4:22-23). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Re 2:1-5). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

b abundantly: Gr. richly

[3] The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Tit 3:5-8). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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