First Love

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In chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation, The apostle John quotes Jesus’ observations and commands from the Spirit toward seven churches.  The first of the seven is to the Church in Ephesus.

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4).

Jesus says in this message (Revelation 2:1-7) that He knows their deeds of toil, perseverance, the intolerance of evil, the vetting of the veracity of those calling themselves apostles and yet, have not grown weary.

These activities, at least outwardly, would seem to be indicative  of men on the right path, walking closely with their Lord with legitimate Christian motives and actions in service to Christ.  Perhaps they were even involved in the ministry of men, evangelism of the lost and edification of the believers.  Perhaps they are leaders and are respected by men seeking the things of God.

But Jesus says they left their first love. He has that against them. Obviously He is referring to the relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is addressing the believer who is perhaps finding his significance in his works over his dependence on God.  Or possibly looking to the approval and glory from men:  “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not see the glory that is from the one and only God?” (John 5:44).

Whatever the motive, He says they left.  This implies an intention to leave, maybe out of neglect or embracing the things of the world, but not something that was imposed upon them.  It also implies that a decision of repentance can reverse it.

So, how would you know this to be?  And how to get back to your first love?  He tells us in the next verse in Revelation 2, verse 5:  “Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first…”

He is exhorting us to remember how it was when we first came to know Christ:  the hope, the joy, the excitement, the new understandings of the truths of ourselves and God, the amazement that we are new creatures and the hope that is generated by proclaiming the gospel!  If we don’t now have that zeal as before, it may likely indicate the loss of first love.

And therefore, now repent of where you are now and return to those things as before. Those things of before are a result of abiding in our first Love!  Repent and go back to Him, as before.

The unacceptable consequence of non-repentance is also found in the balance of verse 5:  “…or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”

The thought of this is frightening–and meant to be, although possibly not fully understood.  It could mean the loss of usefulness to God at a minimum to the awful thought of being voided out the ministry entirely.

Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Resist him and resist involvement in the world’s values.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).


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