first love

SCRIPTURE: Revelation 2

OBSERVATION:
The general sense of this passage is an encouragement and a challenge. Three of the four churches have some concerns. The health of Smyrna at the time of writing is good, but the Ephesus believers have fallen from their first love, and the Pergamum and Thyatira believers are compromising their morals and religious convictions, tolerating questionable beliefs and practices. This vision lets it be known that this is a serious concern, one that calls for repentance. The repeated refrain about having ears to hear, simply means, are we willing to listen, are we determined to stand firm and overcome?

APPLICATION:
There are several thoughts that jump out at me. How serious forsaking your first love for God is, considering how amazing the Ephesians were in other respects, they would have been model church members (verses 2,3). The Smyrneans (?) were really rich, despite being poor, I love that thought! He who searches our hearts and minds, what a great reminder, He knows EVERYTHING! But Satan lives in the city too, and he is looking for ways to mess me up. The basic encouragement in this is: take my faith seriously in these twisted, difficult times, don’t water down my love for God with compromise… He will keep me standing firm until His return.

What is the status of my heart, what is my first love? I think about Jill’s comment about having good goals and realize that many of our good goals are in God’s place, that we love our good goals more than God Himself. The Ephesians were amazing christians, yet they were told to repent and return to their first love. WOW!

PRAYER:
Lord, my love for You is compromised, I am weak and I am easily distracted. Please impress on me the slippery slope I am on, and keep me vigilant in loving and serving You. I want to love you FIRST!

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One Response

  1. Once again, I am reminded by the passage about the voice of the Lord. How do I hear God speaking to me clearly? How do I hear my specific instructions – do this and live. This is the Way. Walk in it.

    I hear Him each day when I read His Word, encouraging me on my Way. I hear Him not only in the stillness of the night but also in the storms that ravage the land. I hear Him speaking softly saying these children are mine. Teach them. Love them. Tell them about me. I hear Him in the daily talks to staff – teachers and national workers alike – in their cheerfulness, smiling faces of greetings.

    And not only do I hear, but also see His presence. Thank You Lord. Help me each day to live in JesusOthersYourself.

    O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
    The precious things Thou dost impart;
    And wing my words, that they may reach
    The hidden depths of many a heart.

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