Revelation 2:2-5, (to the church is Ephesus) “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships fir my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
Ok, so perhaps not the most comforting of passages, but those who were in the Tuesday night discipleship group (studying Revelation) will remember we agreed I would mention this verse in the WhatsApp group.
Challenging does not begin to describe this: a church in a tough place that has endured more than we could imagine and remained faithful in morals and in doctrine. Yet their love for Jesus Himself had grown cool. They had become like an old married couple who had toughed out many difficult years, but lost that old spark (thankfully in our church we have examples of the opposite!).
Have we as a church lost our spark of love for Jesus? Love is not rekindled through feeling condemned – that is not the point of these verses. Love is rediscovered, savoured, delighted in and cherished. How do we do this? I am not entirely sure as this is a path I am on myself, except to suggest the following:
- PRAY that the Lord would rekindle our love for Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit
- READ again, slowly, meditatively and prayerfully, the Object of our love, Jesus, in the gospels
- DEAL with competitors – things that compete with Jesus for time and attention.
Why don’t we all pray this prayer every day for a week and see what happens: Lord Jesus, I long to love you more. Please help me to do so by Your Spirit; I surrender anything that pulls me away from You.
Forgive the addendum…
Not sure I did justice to the passage: according to these verses, the way to return to our first love involves repentance and “doing what we did at first”. I will leave you to each deal before the Lord as to what that means for each of us. Only to say, repentance is nothing to fear, it is always the way back into our Saviour’s arms.