Light The Fire Again
Have you lost the burning flame of first love?
A passage that should awakens a holy fear within:
Rev 2:1 (TPT) Write the following to the messenger of the congregation in Ephesus. For these are the words of the one who holds the seven stars firmly in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2 I know all that you’ve done for me—you have worked hard and persevered. I know that you don’t tolerate evil. You have tested those who claimed to be apostles and proved they are not, for they were imposters. 3 I also know how you have bravely endured trials and persecutions because of my name, yet you have not become discouraged. 4 But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning. 5 Think about how far you have fallen! Repent and do the works of love you did at first. I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place of influence if you do not repent. 6 Although, to your credit, you despise the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also despise. 7 The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying now to all the churches. To the one who overcomes I will give access to feast on the fruit of the Tree of Life that is found in the paradise of God.
“Write the following to the messenger of the congregation in Ephesus.”
The Church at Ephesus was a church planted by Paul. He personally watched over it for more than three years. He then appointed Timothy, his spiritual son, as overseer in his absence. The Apostle John was also an overseer. Theologians speculate that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was counted among the congregation.
Its a church with a good reputation
It’s a church doing good works
“these are the words of the one who holds the seven stars firmly in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands”
John reminds the church, that these words come from the One he had seen in the vision
Rev 1:12 When I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands. 13 And walking among the lampstands, I saw someone like a son of man, wearing a full-length robe with a golden sash over his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool—white as glistening snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire! 15 His feet were gleaming like bright metal, as though they were glowing in a fire, and his voice was like the roar of many rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. And his face was shining like the brightness of the blinding sun! 17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet as good as dead, but he laid his right hand on me and I heard his reassuring voice saying:
Don’t yield to fear. I am the Beginning and I am the End, 18 the Living One! I was dead, but now look—I am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys that unlock death and the unseen world. 19 Now I want you to write what you have seen, what is, and what will be after the things that I reveal to you. 20 The mystery of the lampstands and the seven stars is this: the seven lampstands are the seven churches, and the seven stars in my right hand are the seven messengers of the seven churches.
This Jesus, the righteous King. No longer the lamb that was slain, but the Lion that reigns. We’ve never seen Him in such splendor and glory.
He says, “I know all that you’ve done for me”
Every believer will stand before the Lord to give an account.
2 Cor 5:9b “we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Jesus the righteous Judge commends the church for their good works… works "you’ve done for me.”
1. You’ve been Working Hard
2. You’ve Persevered
3. You Don’t tolerate evil
4. You’ve tested false apostles, proved them as such
5. You’ve Endured Trials
6. You’ve Endured Persecutions
7. In the midst of all this, You have not become discouraged
4 But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning.
To the Church at Ephesus, Christ says, you’ve been doing great on 7 out of 8 points… but missing on one thing and this one thing is everything
You’ve worked Hard - But something is missing
You’ve Preserved - But Something is missing
You’ve despised Evil - But Something is missing
You’ve rejected false teachers - But something is missing
You’ve endured trials - But something is missing
You’ve endured persecutions - but something is missing
You’ve not been discouraged - but something is missing
They had privately abandoned a LOVING RELATIONSHIP with Christ for a public WORKING RELATIONSHIP for Christ.
Questions to Ask: Signs of a flickering flame
I’d describe my prayer life right now as:
[ Non Existent - A Few Minutes A Day - Needs Improvement - Vibrant ]
How much time do you spend in the Word each day:
[ None - A Verse - A Short Devotional - Can’t Get Enough]
Assembling together with the body of believers at church is:
[ Not something I care about - An Option - A Discipline - A Delight ]
I share the gospel with others:
[ Never - Rarely - When The Opportunity Presents Itself - Often ]
My Thoughts in my down time are:
[Not towards God - Are Embarrassing - Often On God - Always On God]
I’d describe my daily temperament as:
[ Angry - Easily Offended/Agitated - Easy Going - At Perfect Peace ]
Here is what should frighten us
It is possible to love church, yet have lost love for Christ
It is possible to love doing good, and not love God
It is possible to stand up for Christ, but be not stand with Christ
It is possible to love truth, but not love the Truth
The church at Ephesus, became the prophetic fulfillment of Jesus’ warning…
Matthew 24:11-13 “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
But there is grace… If He chastise, it’s not because He wants to hurt us, but to heal us
5 Think about how far you have fallen! Repent and do the works of love you did at first. I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place of influence if you do not repent.
The remedy is simple and never changes:
“Think about how far you have fallen!”
Repent not just for the sins of commission, but for the dangerous sins of omission.
“do the works of love you did at first.”
God calls us to return to where we fell. He does not say make up for lost time or start all over again. He calls us back to let Him restore the light of our first love.