Your First Love
As I read this passage it was kind of an emotional roller coaster. As Jesus was praising the church for their good works, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. Like Yes! I’ve been labor-ing, I’ve been patient, and I’ve been discerning by testing those who claim to be apostles and are not. I’ve persevered for Christ’s name sake and have not become weary! Yes, Jesus! I’m on fire for you! I’m laboring in the vineyard and fighting the good fight of faith!... And just that quickly I took a downward turn that sent my pride spiraling down to the ground. Jesus tells the church at Ephesus, “I know you’ve done all these great things but I still have something against you.” Wait...What?! The last person I want to have something against me is Jesus… God himself! I mean, it’s Jesus! But he says clear as day, “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Whoa! Does that sound familiar to you? Teaching and attending church, participating in activities, volun-teering to help when needed but still not like it used to be. Not that intimate connection you once had… You know, that long-ing to worship, that consistency of praise coming from your heart, that connection that makes you feel like you’re stand-ing alone with God even in a room full of people… Where has that gone? Not just a moment in time during a worship service, but how do you return to living in that moment with that kind of intimacy? And how did you lose it? Knowing this of-fends God should break our hearts and urge us to make it right. Fortunately, Jesus gives us the solution right there in the next verse. Remember. Repent. Return. I encourage you to take time to focus on this. Returning to our first love by remembering our first love, who is God (and we love because He first loved us!), repenting for the things that distracted us and caused separation between us and our first love, then returning, run-ning with everything in us to-wards the lover of our souls! It’s time, we’re going back to our first love!
“I know your works, your labor, your pa-tience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars and you have persevered and have patience, and have la-bored for my name's sake and have not be-come weary. Neverthe-less I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remem-ber therefore from where you have fallen’ repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent…”
Remember. Repent. Return.