I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness.

Please bear with me. For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 2 Cor. 11:1-3 (NLT)

Lord Jesus, first of all, that you are jealous for our love is humbling and astonishing. Indeed, your jealously for us is glorious. And as this Scripture underscores, Satan is always seeking to destroy, divert, or diminish our love for you. When he succeeds, like a destructive domino effect, everything else begins to topple.

We start thinking of ourselves too highly, too lowly, and too often. We take feedback too personally, and we feed on compliments like our favorite dessert. When our affection for you chills, we medicate our pain in unhealthy ways and we busy ourselves with stuff that doesn’t really matter.

Non-eternal things preoccupy us, and ordinary irritants get supersized. We’re more susceptible to fear, anger, and temptation. We withdraw from Gospel-enriching relationships, and we start expecting mere people to give us the intimacy only you can give.

So, on this January Sunday, we reaffirm our greatest joy in life is being known, loved, and enjoyed by you, Jesus. We love you because you first loved us and gave yourself for us. Your love for us is always full throttle, passionately focused, and tenaciously tender. You alone are worthy of our heart’s attention, affection, and adoration.

Lord, keep rescuing us from the devil’s whisperings and lies, seductions and condemnations. Until the Day you return, may your love for us be the most enthralling, liberating, and compelling force in our lives. By the Word, gospel, and Spirit, restore and deepen our first love for you, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your great and gracious name.