“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for My Name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. ” – Revelation 2:2–3 (ESV)
Wow. Christ is talking to the church of Ephesus here and speaks of what are in my opinion pretty amazing things about this church. If I were in the Ephesian church, I would be feeling pretty good right about now. But wait…
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” – Revelation 2:4 (ESV)
The Ephesians were known for their works, hard work in fact, their patience while suffering, their desire for what is good, their testing of falsehood and their suffering for Christ. Yet it was not good enough. Why? They had abandoned their first love.
Remember in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talks about all the amazing things that would just be annoying if they weren’t done in love? He compares it to a clanging cymbal. Ever heard one of those? (If you haven’t, they are loud, jarring and unpleasant to the ear.)
Do you know what scares me? How true this can be in my own life. I can look like I am doing everything right but quickly lose the love behind it. Love for people, love for God. When I do that “I gain nothing” and “I am nothing”.
I am a person who likes to get things done. And I like to make sure things get done right. Unfortunately, this often leads to me forgetting the reason behind what I am doing. I get caught up in the task and forget the love. I lose my patience, become unkind, I become boastful and proud. These are all things that love is not.
It’s time for me to recapture my first love. I need to stop being like the Church in Ephesus and do all things in an abundance of love.