03/18/2017 - First Love
“But I have this
against you, that you have left your first love” Rev 2:4.
This is a message that the true and faithful Witness addresses to the church of Ephesus. Ephesus is a symbol of the first Christian church after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. This early church still had Jesus' disciples in her midst, and the first Christians could directly hear His teachings about the Plan of Salvation from them. It is amazing how these disciples could plant so much love for Jesus in the hearts of their hearers that 3000 of them and then more thousands of them decided to give their lives to Jesus. The book of Acts is flooded with stories about men and women who were convicted by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus as a Savior in their lives. The message of “the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand,” (Jesus) to the church in Ephesus contains many words of appreciation for their perseverance, endurance, and hard work for Him. There was Just one thing that Jesus was not happy with them about, “you have left your first love.”
Is this “just one thing” so important for a Christian? If he is very careful in paying attention to other “major” aspects of his faith, such as regularity in coming to the church, bringing his tithe and offerings to the warehouse of God, knowing the Ten Commandments by heart, having a solid foundation of the doctrine and being very careful to break none of the 28 fundamental doctrines of the church, but he left his first love, is this such a tragedy that Jesus should say, “I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent?” v.5. What does He mean by “first love?” What is going on when your first love starts to get cold? One day someone came to Jesus and asked Him, “[Teacher] of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Mark 12:28. You know Jesus’ answer, “Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” V. 30. This is passion, commitment, dedication, deep desire; this is first love. Do you remember the passion you had for your wife/husband when you were dating her/him? Do you remember what feelings you had in your heart, how eagerly you waited for the moment when you would have the opportunity to spend a couple more hours with him/her? Finally, one day you said, “My life doesn’t have any sense without you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Do you still have the same passion for Jesus? Leaving routine aside, do you feel that you cannot live one single day without a close relationship and total commitment to Jesus? Is love so important to your connection with God and our brothers and sisters or does Jesus speak to you when he said, “Consider how far you have fallen?” (v.5) I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 13 again, emphasizing the last verse, “…now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”