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July 15, 2014, 10:00 PM

Can You Remember?

In Revelation chapter 2 Jesus speaks to the church at Ephesus. He begins by commending them on their good points. Their labor, their patience and their decernment of those who called themselves apostles. Then he warns them that the glue that holds all those things together was missing, They had "Left Their First Love' 

While they look good on the surface, there are problems in the heart that must be dealt with.  Jesus let them know that this is a personal matter.  It seems that He is grieved by the problems He sees in this church.

We need to understand that Jesus sees what we do, but He also sees what we are.  He is able to look beneath the surface of our lives and see the condition of our hearts.  When He finds error and sin in our hearts, it grieves Him and it hinders our ability to enjoy His fellowship and His blessings.  When we allow the wrong kind of things to linger in our hearts, it grieves Him.

Jesus looks at these people whom He loves and for whom He died and tells them that they simply do not love Him like they used to.  He tells them that they “have left their first love.”  They still have love, but the deep, fervent, burning love that filled them with a passion to serve Him has left their hearts.  They love their church; but they to do not love him like they used to.  They love their doctrine; but they have lost their passion for Jesus.  They love their work; but they are not motivated in that work by a passionate love for Jesus.  They are busy, but their hearts no longer burn for Him.  The flame that burned so hotly and brightly when it was first ignited is now nothing but a smoldering ember.  They have lost their passion for the Son of God!  They have “left thy first love”.

You see, the Christian life is basically a love affair with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Getting saved is falling in love with Him.  Growing in salvation is falling deeper in love with Him.  This love is the motive for all we do in His Name.  Whether we sing, teach, preach, witness, give, etc, it must all flow out of an ever deepening love for the Lord Jesus.  If we lose our love for Him, then our service means nothing at all.

The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 that if our labors for Christ and for one another does not stem from love then we are just making a lot of noise. 

Some of us need to remember.  We have been saved so long that we have lost the thrill of those early days.  Can you remember what it was like when you first came to Jesus and the weight of your sins was lifted from your heart?  Can you remember when just the mention of His name brought tears to your eyes?  Can you remember when your heart was tender and you felt at home in the altar talking to Him. Can you remember?  Take a minute and reflect on how it used to be.  Now, look at how it is.  Can you honestly say that you are still head over heels in love with Jesus today?

One other problem we see today in many churches is when people fall out of love with Jesus they also fall out of love with His mission, and that is to reach others for Christ. When we lose our love for Christ we also lose our willingness for evangelism. One indicator in how deep our love for Jesus is, is to simply look at ourselves and ask, how often do I tell others about Christ. 

Take the time today to ask yourself, when was the last time or in many cases have I ever personally led someone to Christ. After all that is why we are here!

Share Jesus with someone today!

Rev. Mike Smith

 

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