WHAT’S YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPERATURE?
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The church in Ephesus seemed to be doing well. Jesus saw some encouraging things taking place there. The people were working hard for the Lord, and the doctrine was straight as an arrow. Yet there was one problem—they had left their first love! The passion they once had for Jesus was beginning to wane. Tragically, lesser things started to become more important to them than the Savior.
What happened so long ago to the church in Ephesus happens all the time today. Christians who were once white hot in their love for Jesus see their heart start to cool. They become accustomed to His grace and lose the wonder and awe of their salvation. They forget the great cost He paid on the cross to redeem their sin-sick soul. It is grave business to leave your first love … yet it describes so many who call themselves Christians!
What is the solution to this serious problem? Jesus goes on to say to this church, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5).
First of all, we remember how it used to be. We remember the gratitude we had when we first began with the Lord. We remember the love (and tears) that welled up within us when we reflected on the cross. We remember the price that Jesus paid to forgive our sins. When we think on His great love for us, it makes us want to love Him back (see 1 John 4:19).
Secondly, we repent and turn from all lesser loves that have taken center stage. Like the prodigal son, we leave the pig sty of our selfishness and sin and return with all our heart to the One who truly loves us! As we remember and repent, we can be forgiven and restored to a place of spiritual health and spiritual passion. Loving the Lord with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength fulfills the greatest commandment and brings great pleasure to the Master.
Dr. Jeff Schreve
First Baptist Texarkana, TX
From His Heart Ministries