Introduction:  Revelation 2:4-5

– To forsake means to desert or abandon. (Matthew 27:46)
– Remember the height from which you’ve fallen.
– When did you get baptized? What was it that made you decide to become a disciple?

Reasons For Losing Your First Love: I Timothy 1:5-6

  1. Discouragement or Broken Expectations
    1. Proverbs 13:12
      1. Disappointments or unfulfilled expectations can make our hearts sick.
      2. Spiritual sickness is a state of depression, discouragement, or apathy.
    2. I Corinthians 11:23-30
      1. Purpose of communion is to focus our hope on Jesus.
      2. Some in the church had become weak, sick, and some had fallen asleep.
      3. Spiritual sickness is overcome by focusing on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2-3)
    3. When did you get baptized? What was it that made you decide to become a disciple?
  1. Unconfessed and Undealt-With Sin
    1. Ephesians 5:8-14
      1. To be in the light is to be saved, and to be in the darkness is to be lost. (I Peter 2:9-10)
      2. Commanded to expose our “dark” deeds so that Christ may shine on us.
      3. A consequence of not exposing our deeds is that we fall asleep and die spiritually – we fall away.
    2. Psalm 66:16-20
      1. We cannot have a relationship with God OR with each other without confessing our “cherished” sins. (I John 1:5-10)
      2. Confession of our sins brings healing and comfort. (James 5:16)
    3. What sins have you not confessed?
  1. Hardship or Difficult Circumstances
    1. I Peter 1:3-7
      1. Our faith is proved genuine (sincere) when tested by trials.
      2. Faith is the shield that protects us. If not sincere, we can be taken our by our hardships.
    2. Hebrews 12:7-11, 15
      1. All hardship is from God, and it’s purpose is to discipline us.
      2. Hardship only has two outcomes: Righteousness and peace, or bitterness.
    3. What hardships did you face when you were a disciple, and how did you respond to them?

Do The Things You Did At First:

  1. John 21:3, 15-19
    1. Peter had gone back to fishing.
    2. This is where he was when Jesus first called him. (Mark 1:16-18)
    3. Peter gave up on God’s calling for his life.
    4. Peter is being called to return to his first love.
    5. His first love is equated to Peter doing the things he did at first.
    6. Jesus called Peter to be fully committed even though he was weak. (II Chronicles 16:9)
    7. Follow me” meant more to Peter here than at first – since he now knew the cost.
  1. What costs do you foresee in your restoration?

Conclusion: Luke 15:3-7

– God is a gracious and forgiving God.
– He is excited and encouraged for your restoration.
– But you must return to your first love!

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