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My First Love

Love is a word we frequently use, from expressing our love for someone to saying how much we love our house, food, clothes, job, dog/cat, garden, or hobbies. In fact, a quick Internet search using the word ‘love’ produced over 10 billion hits. Another search revealed that over 100 million love songs have been written and the Bible records the word ‘love’ 551 times in the NIV. The Beatles tried to sum it up for us in the 1967 hit single, “All you need is love.”

The verse we started with is found in the first of the seven letters Jesus dictated to the apostle John while he was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos. In this letter to the church at Ephesus, Jesus reveals to them what He knows about them, not what the church members think about the church, or what people outside thought about it. In it He commends them for three things they have done very well. They were enthusiastic. They endured despite persecution and were an enlightened church in that they hated the false teaching that was going around and stood firmly against it. They were a great example to us of standing firm in their faith.

So, what was the one thing that Jesus had against them that was so severe that He threatened to remove the church if they didn’t change? It was that they had forsaken or abandoned their first love of Him. They hadn’t lost it; the Greek word used is very clear on this. To lose is a mistake, like losing your way. To abandon has the strong suggestion of willingness. We know that Jesus loves us, but love is meant to be mutual and here Jesus clearly desires us to love Him in return.

As I pondered this, I came to realise that their love for Jesus had been replaced by other things. Today that can easily be done through TV, the Internet, books we love to read, hobbies, and social media such as Facebook, or Twitter. Are these the things that we turn to instead of Jesus. Have they taken the place of that first exciting, all encompassing love we had for Jesus when we couldn’t stop telling others about Him? It has deeply challenged me!

What was the Jesus’ answer? It’s found in verse 5 – remember the love you had for Him at first, repent from replacing it with other things, and repeat the things you did at first with such joy. This letter is a deep wake-up call to us all and shows that Jesus isn’t primarily interested in what we are busy doing for Him. He wants our love and, if that love is truly there, it will flow out in what we do and say and touch the lives of others.

If you are wondering what happened to the church at Ephesus, they did come back to their first love, but by the third century AD the church had gone and all there is left now is a village with just a few believers in it. That’s all that’s left of one of the most thriving churches of that age. Please Lord, let that never happen to us!

Prayer: Dear Lord, please show me by Your Holy Spirit what my love for You is truly like Has it devolved into a life of service alone? Have I replaced that first love with other things? If so, please reveal them to me. Help me to remember what that first love was like, repent of giving it up, put aside what has replaced it and stir up again that love for You that I see now You so desperately want from me. Forgive me Lord and help me to change. Amen.


 

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Scripture

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”
Revelation 2:4, NIV

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Today's Writer

Philip Asselin Philip is on the associate ministry and teaching teams with Glyndley Manor. He and his wife Gillian attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have two grown up children, one grandson, and a step-granddaughter in California, and a daughter and granddaughter in Eastbourne. His desire is to see people healed and set free to serve God.

Philip Asselin


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