Revelation 2:4, 5 - How Is Your First Love?
Revelation 2:4, 5: How Is Your First Love?
Revelation 2:4, 5 (NIV) Yet I hold this against you: You have
forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have
fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent,
I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Revelation 2:4-5 (NLT) But I have this complaint against you.
You dont love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how
far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at
first. If you dont repent, I will come and remove your lampstand
from its place among the churches.
When I was little we used to play church. We would get chairs
into rows, fight over who would be preacher, vigorously lead the hymn
singing, and generally have a great time.
The aggressive kids naturally wanted to be up front,
directing or preaching. The quieter ones were content to sit and be
entertained by the upfronters.
Occasionally we would become mesmerized by a true
sensationalistic crowd swayer, such as the girl who said, "Boo! I'm the Holy
Ghost!" But in general, if the upfronters were pretty good, they could
hold their audience quite a while. If they weren't so good,
eventually the kids would drift off to play something else, such as jump
rope or jacks.
Now that generation has grown up, but most of them have not
changed too much. Every Sunday they still play church. They line up in
rows for the entertainment. If it's pretty good, their church may
grow. If it's not too hot, eventually they will drift off to play
something else, such as yachting or wife swapping. Anne Ortlund
Anne is right. Many people today just play church, and it's
truly sad because they really don't know what they are missing.
A minister I know used to say, "Wherever you are when it's
time for church, you will be worshiping your god." If you are at home
asleep, then sleep is your god. If you are on the golf course, then golf
is your god. If you are working, then work is your god. Or if you
are in the assembly of the saints and your heart is truly engaged in
worship, then God really is your God.
Aren't you happy that God was not playing when he offered us
Forgive me Lord, for the times I fail to put you first in my
life. I repent of my neglect and pray that you will draw me ever
closer to you. Amen. [The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter by
They had abandoned that eagerness to please and devotion that
characterizes first love. [Ryrie SB]
They had lost their zeal for God. They were a busy church - the
members did much to benefit themselves and the community - but they were
acting out of the wrong motives. Work for God must be motivated by love
for God or it will not last. [Life Application SB]
Just as when a man and woman fall in love, so also new believers
rejoice at their newfound forgiveness. But when we lose sight of the
seriousness of sin, we begin to lose the thrill of our forgiveness. In the
first steps of your Christian life, you may have had enthusiasm
without knowledge. Do you now have knowledge without enthusiasm? Both
are necessary if we are to keep love for God intense and
untarnished. Do you love God with the same fervor as when you were a new
Christian? [Life Application SB]
The warmth of their first love is frozen up, and unless they
are watered over by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, their
candlestick will be removed out of its place, except they repent and do
their first works. The first works of the church were seen when the
believers sought out friends, relatives, and acquaintances, and with
hearts overflowing with love told the story of what Jesus was to them
and what they were to Jesus......
Selfishness mars all that unconsecrated workers do. They have
need to pray always, but they do not. They need to watch unto prayer.
They have need to feel the sacredness of the work, but they do not
feel this. They handle sacred things as they do common things.
Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and until they can drink of
the water of life, and Christ be in them as a well of water
springing up unto everlasting life, they will refresh no one, bless no
one; and except they repent, their candlestick will be removed out of
its place. There is need of enduring patience, of invincible
charity, of omnipotent faith in the work of saving souls. Self must not
be prominent. Wisdom from Christ must be exercised in dealing with
human minds. Every worker who deals with souls successfully must come
to the work divested of self......
Those who do not learn every day in the school of Christ, who
do not spend much time in earnest prayer, are not fit to handle the
work of God in any of its branches; for if they do, human depravity
will surely overcome them and they will lift up their souls unto
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? How you
couldn't spend enough time with him? How the hours you were with her
seemed like minutes? Perhaps you had a similar experience when you
first recognized Christ's amazing love for you and your heart was
filled with love for Him. As we busily serve the Lord, though, we can
too easily lose the joy we knew when we first loved Him. The service
that began as a response of deep affection for the Lord can
deteriorate into acting merely out of a sense of duty; our Christian life
can become routine, even drudgery. We must never allow religion to
overtake our love relationship with God.
In the second century, Polycarp - who trained for ministry
under the apostle John - served as a pastor. When a great persecution
of Christians under Roman emperor Antonius Pius began, Polycarp was
arrested. Ordered to renounce Christ, Polycarp boldly proclaimed: "I have
served Him for eighty-six years, and He has done me no wrong. Can I
revile my King who saved me?"
Polycarp was burned alive at the stake for a love that lasted
almost nine decades. How has your love for Christ grown over the years?
[Being Still With God Every Day by Henry Blackaby]
Be still in My presence, even though countless tasks clamor
for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with
Me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you:
transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with
Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the
richness of what I have planned for you.
Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember
that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart
to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deeply
grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be
an idol if it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am
the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of
idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest gift of all:
Christ in you, the hope of Glory! (Rom. 12:2; Rev. 2:4; Col. 1:27)
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I am speaking in the depths of your being. Be still, so that
you can hear My voice. I speak in the language of Love; My words
fill you with Life and Peace, Joy and hope. I desire to talk with all
of My children, but many are too busy to listen. The "work ethic"
has them tied up in knots. They submit wholeheartedly to this
taskmaster, wondering why they feel so distant from Me.
Living close to Me requires making Me your First Love--your
highest priority. As you seek My Presence above all else, you experience
Peace and Joy in full measure. I also am blessed when you make Me
first in your life. While you journey through life in My Presence, My
Glory brightens the world around you. (Isa. 50:4; Rev. 2:4; Isa. 60:2)
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
In everything you do, put Me first, and I will direct you and
crown your efforts with success. Putting Me first sounds so simple and
straightforward. But the world, the flesh, and the devil war against your efforts
to do this. You can easily justify letting other things creep into
the space and time you had set aside for Me. If this happens only
occasionally, it is just part of being human. However, if you see it becoming
a pattern in your life, watch out! Your priorities may have been
gradually shifting - until I am no longer your First Love.
Putting Me first is not an arbitrary rule; it is the way to
live vibrantly, joyfully - close to Me. It is also the way to live
purposefully, letting Me direct your steps. When I am your top priority, other
things fall into their proper place. So delight yourself in Me first
and foremost. As you walk in the Light of My Presence, I open up the
path before you - and give you the desires of your heart. (Rev. 2:4;
Psa. 37:4; 1Jo. 1:7) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
Seek to live in My love, which covers a multitude of sins:
both yours and others. Wear My Love like a cloak of Light,
covering you from head to toe. Have no fear, for perfect Love decimates
fear. Look at other people through lenses of Love; see them from My
perspective. This is how you walk in the Light, and it pleases Me.
I want My Body of believers to be radiant with the Light of
My Presence. How I grieve when pockets of darkness increasingly dim
the Love - Light. Return to Me, your First Love! Gaze at Me in the
splendor of holiness, and My Love will once again envelop you in Light.
(1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 4:18; Rev. 2:4) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I am your treasure! Sometimes you feel frazzled - pulled this
way and that by people and circumstances around you. Your yearning
for meaning and deep connection drives you into more and more
activity. Even when your body is still, your mind tends to race -
anticipating future problems and searching for solutions. You need to
remember that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Me.
Remind yourself of this glorious truth frequently, whispering: "Jesus,
You are my Treasure. In You I am complete."
When you prize Me above all else, making Me your First Love,
you are protected from feeling fragmented. Whenever you find your
thoughts straying, you can train your mind to return to the One who
completes you. This gives focus to your life and helps you stay close to
Me. Living near Me, enjoying My Presence, involves seeking to obey
My commands. I am telling you this so that My Joy may be in you and
that your Joy may be complete. (Col. 2:2, 3; Rev. 2:4; John 15:10,
11) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young]
You cannot serve two masters. If I am truly your Master, you
will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing people is your
goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh taskmasters
when you give them this power over you.
If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First
Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional
Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I lift you
up into intimate relationship with Me. The Joy of living in My
Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous
Light by living in increasing intimacy with Me. (Mat. 6:24; Rev. 2:4;
Eph. 3:16, 17; Psa. 16:11) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
PERTINENT CROSS REFERENCES
Revelation 3:2-3 (NLT) Wake up! Strengthen what little remains,
for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do
not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and
believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you
dont wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
1 John 2:24 (NLT) So you must remain faithful to what you have
been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in
fellowship with the Son and with the Father.
Colossians 2:6 (KJV) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in him:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiVa7UoruIo [old, but one of the best]
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet:
Last Day Prophecy: His Other Sheep by Pastor Gerald Babanezhad: