Revelation 2:1-7, “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Jesus bought and paid for the church with His blood, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18. Jesus is the Rock the church is built upon and He knows our works and deeds.
So, what are some of our works and deeds?
Laboring for Christ
Suffering for Christ
Loving one another and everyone
Preaching/teaching sound doctrine
Not tolerating sin
Carrying out the Great Commission
Doing all those things, and much more for our Lord is outstanding! But … are we like, or becoming like, the church at Ephesus, ‘doing’ all the right things, with the wrong heart? What about the churches around this great nation – how many are truly doing the things Christ commanded the churches to do for their own glory or for His?
At Ephesus, on the outside, the church looked great! However, inwardly their hearts had grown cold, they had lost their first love; our love grows cold to one another because our love grows cold to Christ.
There are a lot of reasons this can happen, the main one of course is sin. Sometimes we get to busy trying to get things done or trying to please others, thus causing other areas of our lives to suffer, and usually the first one is our love for Christ. We don’t mean to do it, and if we stop and think about it, it is the LAST thing we want to happen, but it does, and really, it too is sin, because we are no longer putting God first in our lives, somewhere down the line, we have removed Him from the throne of our lives and replaced Him with stuff.
Remember Martha and Mary? Jesus came to their house, and Martha wanted everything perfect – the house clean, a perfect meal, perfect décor – ooooh this is so very familiar to me, woo, this isn’t even part of the notes I am writing from, the Lord is speaking to me, I am ashamed to admit it but I am Martha through and through, and oh, how I want to be a Mary – anyhow, in my own words, the Lord was like, hey Martha, you need to be still, I am here with you now, but I won’t always be, come and sit with Me while you can – “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 – I love it when the Lord talks to me like this, I need to be still, I am too busy; my focus needs to turn back to Him, for ME; so I can rest in Him, be a better wife through Him and a better mother through Him, a better church member through Him and so on – yes Lord, please Father, forgive me for being to busy
Back to my notes – John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
What do we do when we realize we’ve lost our first love? REPENT. Remember how it was when you first got saved and you loved Christ? That excitement you had and that joy you had bringing honor and glory to God in all you do?
Remember that first love, the love of Christ
Change of heart and mind, turn yourself around
DO THE FIRST WORKS
Tell people about Jesus
This is a daily task. Daily we have to remember our first love and to repent of our going astray and returning to our first love and our first works, both as individuals and as a church. If we don’t, the church will be removed, (Rev. 2:5). Jesus also told us in our main passage, to listen with our spiritual ears -
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stray from God, I want to be in His arms, as close to Him as possible at all times, it is we who stray, not Him, Oh God, Father, please help me to stay rooted and grounded in You, not straying away from You, my first love.