Sunday, September 4, 2011

Have you lost your first love? - September 4th, 2011

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, 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 labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember 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.
Revelation 2:1-5

History and Context:
Revelation is the only apocalyptic book in the New Testament. An apocalyptic book was written in times of crisis and had the purpose of encouraging the believers by reminding them of the coming voctory in Christ. Apocalyptic writings always included visions, symbols, and numbers containing special meanings. This often makes it harder for us to understand as we are in a different time and culture. The book is authored by John from the island of Patmos. There is disagreement among scholars whether this is the John the Apostle or a different John. Tradition supports the idea that it is John the Apostle but the style is very different from the Gospel of John and the letters of John. In the first three chapters of revelation Jesus has John write seven letters to seven specific churches.

The Text:
This is the beginning to the letter to the church in Ephesus. Jesus begins by listing out the things which He likes about the church, and it makes for quite an impressive resume. They've tested the false teachers and found them to be false, they've peservered, pushed through trials with patience, and they have been working for Christ. These are things that most Christians would strive to hear from the Lord. But there was still one thing that He had against them. He says they lost their first love. They were still doing the work of Christ but they had lost the love that had driven them at the beginning. They had gained knowledge and wisdom but had lost their original passion. He says that this is such a serious thing that if they do not repent He will "remove their lampstand from it's place".

The Challenge:
How many of us have lost our first love? How many of us are maybe still working for Jesus but we have lost that passion that originally drove us? Jesus is challenging us, like He challenged the church in Ephesus, to find that first love. Find that passion. Seek it out in your prayer times, in time of Bible reading. Don't just pray and read because it is what your supposed to do, but seek out that passion that you originally had. Find the excitement!

The Prayer:
Lord, help me find that passion again. Help me return to the love for you that I had at the beginning. Let everything I do be motivated in love and passion for you, let it be done in excitement. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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