Muynak was once a thriving fishing port on the Aral Sea. But today, according to James Rupert of the Washington Post, Muynak sits on the edge of a bitter, salty desert. Sand dunes are strewn with the rusted, hollow hulls of a fishing fleet that once sailed high above on the surface of Central Asias fountain of life.
Things began changing 30 years ago when Stalinist planners began diverting the Arals water source to irrigate the worlds largest cotton belt. No one, however, envisioned the environmental disaster that would result. Weather has become more extreme, the growing season has been shortened by 2 months, and 80 percent of the regions farmland has been ruined by salt storms that sweep in off the dry seabed.
What happened at Muynak parallels the history of the church of Ephesus. Once a thriving spiritual community, the Ephesian believers diverted their attention from Christ to works done in His name (Rev. 2:2-4). They had lost sight of what was most important in their relationship with Christtheir love for Him.
1. When my delight in the Lord is no longer as great as my delight in someone else, I have lost my first love.
2. When my soul does not long for times of rich fellowship in Gods Word or in prayer, I have lost my first love.
3. When my thoughts during leisure moments do not reflect upon the Lord, I have lost my first love.
4. When I claim to be “only human” and easily give in to those things I know displease the Lord, I have lost my first love.
5. When I do not willingly and cheerfully give to Gods work or to the needs of others, I have lost my first love.
6. When I cease to treat every Christian brother as I would the Lord, I have lost my first love.
7. When I view the commands of Christ as restrictions to my happiness rather than expressions of His love, I have lost my first love.
8. When I inwardly strive for the acclaim of this world rather than the approval of the Lord, I have lost my first love.
9. When I fail to make Christ or His words known because I fear rejection, I have lost my first love.
10. When I refuse to give up an activity which I know is offending a weaker brother, I have lost my first love.
11. When I become complacent to sinful conditions around me, I have lost my first love.
12. When I am unable to forgive another for offending me, I have lost my first love.