“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, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
In a very poetic fashion, Jesus describes Himself walking through and observing the goings on, in the church of Ephesus. It is both encouraging and frightening to know that Jesus is so involved with His church. He knows, and intimately describes, the affairs of the church, both good and bad. While He has much that is positive to share, the indictment He brings overshadows their successes. He declares they have left their first love.
“First love” may refer to what some have called the love of espousal. That love, where nothing else matters but the desire to be with and please another. Certainly, we could all afford a greater degree of that kind of love, but I suggest, “first love” is a reference to something more. John explained that we love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), which makes our love for Him is a reflection. If my love for Him is waning, then I must focus upon the love God has for me. Taking time to consider the cross, where the love of God was poured out, will always stir us to a greater degree of love for Him. That is the great value of the communion table. Reflecting upon the broken body and the shed blood of Christ, is an extremely helpful way to return to your first love.
Take some time to reflect upon the cross, and thank the Lord for His great love for you.
Questions for Revelation 2
In verse 19 of chapter 1 we are given the outline of the book of Revelation: The things which you have seen (chapter 1, the exalted Christ), the things which are (chapters 2 and 3), and the things that will take place after this. (Chapters 4 and beyond)
1. Seven churches were mentioned in chapter 1. In chapters 2 and 3 they will each be addressed by Jesus. Which four are being spoken to by Jesus in this chapter (verses 1, 8, 12, 18)?
2. There is a pattern that each of these letters follow, with a couple of exceptions:
a. Jesus reveals some aspect of His character, hinted at by the name He calls Himself.
b. Jesus praises the church for the things they are doing well (one exception).
c. Jesus calls the church to repent for the things they are doing wrong (one exception).
d. They are exhorted to listen to the message.
3. Look at each letter. Do they all follow the pattern?
4. According to verse 4-5 what are some antidotes for a cold heart toward Jesus?
5. The church of Smyrna is a church that is suffering great persecution. What does Jesus have to say to them?
6. In verse 6 and verse 15 the “Nicolaitans” are mentioned. Simply put, these are people who rule over the laity or laypeople in an ungodly way. How does Jesus feel about them and their teaching?
7. The church of Thyatira is one that is mixed up in a lot of bad things. To them Jesus emphasizes that He will ultimately judge them. Are you aware at all times that you will stand before God and give account?