Words From The Spirit To The Church At Ephesus
In the Revelation John, writing what God gives him to write, is sending a message to seven churches in Asia Minor. His first message is to the church at Ephesus. Many believe that these messages to the seven churches is representative of seven church ages and others believe it is to seven conditions which exist in the body of Christ in any age.
Whatever deeper meaning these messages have we will leave to another forum, but for our purposes we will look at them as if each one is a warning to believers today. We can certainly see how each of these messages can be received as a warning for us and also an opportunity to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
The church at Ephesus is being congratulated for their diligence in defending the Christian faith. They have not tolerated evil ones who would pretend to be followers of Christ but who in fact were driven by their own lusts and greed.
However, while contending furiously for purity of belief, they lost something very valuable. They had lost their first love. What is the first love of a believer? When we have been truly born again we have such a love for God and others that our lives are profoundly affected. Our focus becomes pleasing God and serving others.
In this passage we are being called back to intimate relationship with God. We are not to disregard truth and doctrine, but neither are we to forget that loving God and others must come first.
Those who hear this message and who overcome their lack of love is given the right to eat from the tree of life. Let us hear what the Spirit says, repent of our hardness and allow God to give us a refreshing baptism of love.
Prayer: Father, help me not to allow my zeal for the truth to override my love for you and others. Restore my first love. Amen.
Principle: We are being called back to intimate relationship with God. We are not to disregard truth and doctrine, but neither are we to forget that loving God and others must come first.
Affirmation: I have learned that when I make loving God and others first I have no problem keeping my doctrine pure and aligning myself with truth.
Reflection: How can a church value the truth, have pure doctrine, and yet lose their love? What would be the signs that this is happening? Something to think about: If those who hear this message and overcome their lack of love will eat from the tree of life, what will happen to those who continue in truth yet do not renew their love?
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