“Write a letter to the leader of the church at Ephesus and tell him this: “I write to inform you of a message from him who walks among the churches and holds their leaders in his right hand.
“He says to you: I know how many good things you are doing. I have watched your hard work and your patience; I know you don’t tolerate sin among your members, and you have carefully examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t. You have found out how they lie. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
“Yet there is one thing wrong; you don’t love me as at first! Think about those times of your first love (how different now!) and turn back to me again and work as you did before; or else I will come and remove your candlestick from its place among the churches.” Revelation 2:1-5 TLB
The King James Version words verse 4 like this, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4 KJV
Jesus said, “Nevertheless” I have this against you:
Guzik wrote in his commentary on this passage, “Jesus used a sobering word — nevertheless, which means ‘despite all that.’ Jesus took into full account all the good in the Ephesian church, yet despite all that, He had something against them.”
The Ephesian church had a lot of good things going for them. They worked hard. They had patience. They did not tolerate sin among themselves. When suffering came, they did not quit.
Jesus checked a lot of boxes when evaluating them as a whole. But despite all those good things, they did not love Jesus like they did when they first met Him.
Think about this in the context of your earthly relationships. You might check a lot of the boxes in your marriage, but if you don’t love each other like you did when you first met, your marriage may not last much longer.
Your spouse may say to you, “I appreciate all these things you have done, but why don’t you love me like you use to?”
Back to this church in our verses, another thing I want you to notice about this church is that they “LEFT” their first love. They did not lose their first love. When you lose something, it is not intentional.
When you leave something, it is intentional.
Jesus was saying, “When you stopped loving me, it was deliberate, it was planned, it was calculated, it was premediated. When you stopped loving me it was on purpose.”
Let’s look at the parable of the prodigal son. The prodigal son left his father’s house on purpose! It was deliberate, it was planned, it was calculated, it was premediated. He had enough of his dad and responsibilities, and he wanted out.
“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:11-20 KJV
This prodigal son made a decision to leave – therefore, he had to make a decision to come back.
He didn’t lose his first love. He left his first love.
What triggered this decision to come back is that he remembered what it used to be like in his father’s house.
Remembering is KEY!
Look what Jesus said……
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:5
Today I challenge every single one of us to stir up our memory of when we first fell in love with Him.
If you have just been checking some boxes….
- Church ✅
- Read the Word ✅
- Pray ✅
- Give ✅
But if despite all of that, you are not in love with Him anymore, REMEMBER!
This makes me think of a song that says…
I keep falling in love with him
Over and over, and over, and over, again
Just keep falling in love with him,
Over and over, and over and over again.
He gets sweeter and sweeter
As the days go by,
Oh, what a love between my Lord and I…
Just keep falling in love with Him
Over and over, and over and over again.
Take the time to remember today…to remember why you first fell in love with him and to fall in love with him all over again.