Historically we know that the church at Ephesus had suffered many hardships, yet they persevered and stayed faithful to the Doctrine. Jesus even commended them for their “intolerance of wicked men.” Ephesus was a solid congregation on many levels. It appears they had structure, rules, protocols, and fortitude. However, what was missing could not be ignored. Jesus said, Rev 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Faithfulness is important. Giving and returning tithes and offerings are biblical directives. Church order and family structure which include Bible devotion and conduct are essential. Yet, if we lose our “first love” then all is lost. Religious activities never make up for a lack of passion. The problem exists after years of doing right, but forgetting how much the Lord has done.
When we were first saved, or when we first found the Lord, we could not wait to get to the church. We wanted to be the first in the altar; first to find our favorite seat. We did not care what other people thought about our worship. When we first began, we believed anything was possible. We expected something miraculous every time we gathered.
However, as the years drifted by, so did the pathos. First Love is precious. I’ve felt it so many times in my own life. A little waning of hunger; a little apathy for praise. It happens so subtly that it’s hard to tell, but First Love is a fragile thing.
The great danger comes from Paul’s admonition written 2,000 years ago. He wrote: Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
If Paul thought he was close to the second coming of the Lord, how much closer are we today? We may be standing on the brink of the Last Trumpet! I feel it to be true, which means, emphatically, that we cannot lose our First Love. If the signs of the times are not enough to recapture our passion, pathos, and purpose, then nothing will move us. The times demand a return to our First Love!
So if you have not cried, pray until you are moved to tears. If you have not worshiped, do it until it invades your pride. If you have not danced, or shouted, or fallen on your face at a the altar, climb over your inhibitions and get there. Keeping our structure, order, and faithfulness is important, but we must not lose the heart we had when we first found Him!