“You have left your first love.” – Rev. 2:4
The church of Ephesus was known for diligent service and doctrinal faithfulness. They worked hard in God’s kingdom; if we knew them today we might see them supporting Christian schools, the pro-life movement, or care for the homeless. They were both discerning and diligent, two necessary traits!
But because they lacked one thing, this church was warned by Jesus that unless they repented, they would cease to be a church.
It’s hard to imagine that discernment and hard work for God’s glory can have a fatal flaw, but it can. It can lead to pride and a failure to love grace, or the sinners we are called to serve, or even the very God in whose name we serve. If someone described you as a Christian, would they say first and foremost that you loved Jesus, and secondly that you loved others? Sometimes we think the greatest danger in our world today is compromising on what is right, but the first thing Jesus warns His church about is losing love.
When we recognize that we have ceased to live by love we need not despair. Jesus provides a way of escape. We need to remember the love that filled our hearts when we first learned of Christ, to ask God for forgiveness for having lost it, and recommit to pressing nearer to God and others in Christian love. God can rekindle this love and keep the lampstand burning, and He promises this grace for all who turn to Him.
Suggestions for prayer
Lord, rekindle my love for Christ.
Pastor Greg Bylsma is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and he is currently serving at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.