Jesus: “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,
else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place
unless you repent.
(Revelation 2:4-5 in the Holy Bible)
These are some of the most thrilling words and yet contain the one of the greatest warnings ever spoken by Jesus.
First lets look at what is thrilling.
Jesus wants our ‘first love’. For most followers of Jesus the some of their most exciting and thrilling days was when they first came to know Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. It seems everything had changed. You were in ‘LOVE’! You were in love with JESUS! He loves me and I love Him! Old things had passed away and Jesus “IS’ with me now and always.
You were excited and in love and committed to following Jesus. You may have told your friends and family and even spoke of Jesus to the people you met. Your smile was radiant and joy flooded your heart. You knew Jesus heard your prayers and you prayed and believed and trusted in His mercy and love and will.
You went to bed in peace and arose us with expectancy and joy. You had a passion to read the Word of God and a desire to tell others. You could face life and was secure in facing the glory of heaven to come.
Many of your friends at church tried to calm you down and say that in time you will mature and become ‘normal’. (A religious term for being ‘dead’ or ‘losing your first love’. You knew that would never happen to you).
Something has happened!
It could be one of many things but that ‘first love’ is gone!
You may not want to admit it but in your heart you know it. Now you may be a pastor or singer or worship leader or evangelist or housewife or farmer but you know you have lost that ‘first love’ for Jesus and for Him and His way.
Many people when they get married have a ‘honeymoon’. It is sad but true that for most that honeymoon is only for a few days or weeks but few live a life of ‘honeymoon’.
Seems some can extend that feeling and relationship of love and excitement and passion for a year or two. But few oh so very few are able to maintain that for a lifetime. I promise you that even most counselors and even preachers will tell you that the ‘first love’ will pass and then it gets down to commitment and ‘mature love’. (A religious word for dead and just making-it) Well, I am sure they are teaching out of their own personal experience.
This is not what the Bible teaches. The Word of God says;
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’
(Hebrews 13:8 in the Holy Bible)
Should Jesus be in you, then you have an unchanging love in you. As you walk in the Spirit you have the strength to express that love. God is love and His love is in you so you have a Divine Presence in you always! Glory. We are to live in that.
How do we lose that first love?
I could give a long list but will just give a few things to help you search your heart.
Things don’t work out as you want them to so you lose confidence in Jesus .
Remember Jesus said
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let them deny themselves , and take up their cross, and follow Me.
(Mark 8:34 in the Holy Bible)
In our world ‘self’ is on the throne. It is now and has been ever since the Garden of Eden. In the garden Satan appealed to Adam and Eve’s self-centeredness. God is denying you that which is good! This was the downfall of the human race. Dear friend your anger and disappointment is nothing new it is as old as the Devil Himself! Why are you disappointed’¦you didn’t get your way? Well as a follower of Jesus that was supposed to be one of the first things to be cast away!
Repent and return to your first love!
Cares of this world!
Other things slowly creep into your life and begin to choke the ‘first love’. This often happens so slowly that you may not even be aware of it until you reach a desperate state or read a column like this. Often the person passes on through life living in a state of an inner coldness of heart with God and others.
Just like in many marriages the husband or wife has the correct words to say. “Oh I love you more than ever’. But all the real passion and excitement and thrill has gone. Where? Lost in the cares of this world. You know it but may simply be living in self-denial not wanting to face the true reality of having lost your ‘first love’.
” And the cares of this world , the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful .
(Mark 4:18-19 in the Holy Bible)
Solution: Repent and return to your first love!
I could go on and on listing things.
The church and all its activities have consumed your time and energy and you feel spiritually burnt out.
You are now focused on religion and all the theology and rules and you are consumed with behavior and morality and politics and have lost the focus on Jesus!
You may have developed a critical judgmental spirit losing the compassion and welcoming love of Jesus for sinners and His way of dealing with people.
One may have fallen in love with other things. Your love of sport or recreation or your job or politics or religion or even service to others is more predominate in your thinking and life than Jesus.
You see a preacher, (I am a preacher and an evangelist) can lose their ‘first love’ even as they minister and preach every week or day. Over and over I encounter ministers that in private speak of ‘what they once did for Jesus’, how they once did street witnessing or evangelism, etc. I think the most common thing preachers that once knew me when they see me now will say, “Wow, you have never changed!’ “Same ole Blessitt’! “Still excited about Jesus and people’. By the grace and mercy of God I pray that never changes.
Sin that is un-repented of and turned from and confessed to Jesus will rob you of that ‘first love’.
Repent and return to your ‘first love’!
Repent and do the first works!
Return to that first love you had with Jesus. It is possible! Ask Him to fill you with that love. Be the way you were!
Oh dear pastor step into the pulpit with the fire of yesteryear!
(I might add, it is possible that even your marriage could experience a return to the first love and you could start again that honeymoon that ended years ago.)
I cannot close this column without giving the warning of Jesus!
Else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place
Unless you repent.
I know none of you want this to happen to you. When the ‘lamp stand’ or lamp is gone there is darkness!
There is no record that the church in Ephesus did repent and return to their ‘first love’.
The scripture used in this column was addressed to a church in what is today Turkey and was written in the first century.
“In the loss of Ephesus the Christians deplored the fall of the first angel, the extinction of the first candlestick of the Revelations; the desolation is complete; and the church that existed there in the time of John, has disappeared, and nothing remains but unsightly ruins. (From Barnes’ Notes)
Jesus did remove the lamp stand and all there is, is ruins.
Oh don’t live with inner darkness in your heart! Don’t let your heart be only the ruins of the judgment of God.
Let the light of Jesus shine in your heart!
Come Lord Jesus!
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt