Have you forsaken your first love?

"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, 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 for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

"Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelations 2:1-7

As I read this passage today I wondered what their first love was. God's complaint against them was that they had forsaken their first love. If we look Matthew 22:38-40, Romans 13:8, or Galatians 5:14 we find that God defines love as the first and second greatest commandments. First, we are to love God with all we are. Second, we are to love our neighbor as w love yourself. Love for God is most often defined in the Scriptures as "if you love Me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15, 2 John 1:6) Love for our neighbors is most often defined in the Scriptures as something like, "putting the needs of others ahead of our own desires" (Romans 12:10, Philippians 2:3).

According to Rev 2 it seems that the Ephesians had not lost the love for God since they are commended for their work for Christ, and their stand against evil and false prophets. So can we assume that it's the love of loving their neighbors that they have lost?

The early church would often be found as they were in Acts 4:32-35 "And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need."

From the beginning the church had heard that "anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;" (1 John 3:10, 11)

If we go back to the church being a bride and compare that to the relationship of a husband and wife, how many times do you hear of one of them "falling away from love." What about a new believer and the excitement they have and love for brothers and sisters in the Lord. Or you walk into a new church and everyone is so friendly, kind, giving, loving and then you get to know them and realize it's not at all that way.

When we lose our love for our neighbors, for God's family what does God have to say? "If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." (Rev 2) God says we need to repent, so God calls not loving our neighbor sin.

So when was the last time you criticized a fellow believer? Or said something unkind about them? When was the last time you sat in your warm house well feed when your neighbor was cold and hungry? "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:17-18

But then if we do not love the brethren can we really love God?


  1. If we do not love the brethren, then I think we probably do not know the heart of God...and we do not know the truth about ourselves. It is out of love for God and gratefulness for all He has done for us that we then choose to serve and love...and show grace to...the brethren.

    My prayer is that God would increase my love for Him..as I know I do not love Him as I should. I am so self centered that I have to be constantly pointed back to what I need to be doing...loving others, serving others...living for God and others. I can read about it. I can write about it. I can talk about it. But I must live it. It must be in my heart--a part of who I am. And only God can place that gift in my heart. So I cry out to Him and ask for it.

    I read recently that the puritans used to pray for "the gift of tears" which was repentance. It was a gift. I think we can pray for "the gift of a loving heart towards others". It's not something I can "muster up"!

    Good post dear freind!!!
    I love you...God has given me a love for you!!! ( :

  2. Ouch. The truth hurts so good :) As John Piper says - speak the truth and get out of the way!


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