“To the angel (divine messenger) of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of the One who holds [firmly] the seven stars [which are the angels or messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands (the seven churches): ‘I know your deeds and your toil, and your patient endurance, and that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and have tested and critically appraised those who call themselves apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives, of Christ), and [in fact] are not, and have found them to be liars and impostors; and [I know that] you [who believe] are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and that you have not grown weary [of being faithful to the truth]. But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]; otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent. Yet you have this [to your credit], that you hate the works and corrupt teachings of the Nicolaitans [that mislead and delude the people], which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant [the privilege] to eat [the fruit] from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’ Revelation 2:1-7 AMP
One of the lessons I’m having to learn in my walk with Jesus is that people are not going to change no matter how badly I want them to. My greatest frustration is with the body of Christ. But the one thing I’ve been guarding is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I never want to become so disillusioned that I throw my hands up and give up on Christianity and my love for Jesus in the process. Many have fallen into this trap. I know, because Jesus accused an entire church of forsaking the love they once had for Him. Jesus said they were doing all the right things, hating the things He hated, but in the process they allowed their disappointment to distract from their love for Him.
If Jesus is the “CAUSE “ then it should be our love for Him that motivates and drives us. We can be easily blinded by causes. The enemy will use our convictions against us. If we’re not operating from a heart of love, then the good thing will easily become our downfall. In reading the verses above, we see that they were not being accused of having the wrong approach towards the behaviors around them, they were praised for taking a stand against lawlessness in the Church and, what was suffering was the love and passion they once had and shared with Jesus.
We claim to do things in the Name of Jesus, but are we really? If we’re fighting causes in His Name but are lacking in our love for Him, then it’s a great cause but where is He? He praised them, they were like the rich young ruler, all their ducks in a row but still lacking ONE thing. There is always something missing whenever LOVE is not factored into the cause. The Holy Spirit brought that home to me in a very real way. We each have been given an assignment, and we will individually give an account for what we’ve done with it. Maybe the Church in Ephesus was trying so hard to do all the right things, working diligently to protect the integrity of God’s House, they were neglecting their own walk with their first Love. We can be so busy doing “the right things “ we allow the enemy to distract us from quality time safeguarding our own walk with Jesus.
This so concerned Jesus that He told them (us) to consider how the frustration had caused them to fall away spiritually, to repent and return to doing what they had done at first. Where Jesus was center stage and not the cause. Where everything was seen through our love for Him. I know of people who have no faith in Christianity or the Church because of what they have witnessed. They believe in Jesus but won’t fully commit because of being frustrated. Jesus gets you, but He’s not the problem, so He will not give us an out. You’ve heard the term “the Church is full of hypocrites “ well so is the world, but I don’t see anyone trying to escape it. The biggest hypocrite is in the mirror. Just saying.
Don’t forget about Him! He’s not the cause, but He does have the answer. He said “ Repent and do the things you did at first.” What things? He was your all in all, your one and only, your first and last. Through Him you accomplished all things that pertained to life and godliness. The causes you stood for in His Name, He stood with you. You were a team, you shared the same values. It wasn’t us against them, it was Christ in you, standing side by side to defeat unrighteousness. It wasn’t just YOUR cause, it was His and you participated because of your love for Him. So have you forgotten about Him? Have you been standing up so much you’ve forgotten to SIT DOWN? Sit down with Him! Loving Him as at first. Have you grown cold because you’re defending your cause? Your first love knows all about the cause. He said to the Church in Ephesus, if you don’t repent, I will remove your influence in the community, the city, the nation, your job, your family. (Emphasis mine). That’s how much He cares about our personal relationship with Him. Nothing or no one must EVER replace Him in our lives. If you’re not prepared to die on the hill of your cause it’s not worth the fight. The loyalty that Jesus demands is unquestionable. He can demand that because listen: He paid the ultimate sacrifice. Revelation 1:6. The Writer of Hebrews penned these words:
“You have not yet struggled to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the divine word of encouragement which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT MAKE LIGHT OF THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, AND DO NOT LOSE HEART and GIVE UP WHEN YOU ARE CORRECTED BY HIM; FOR THE LORD DISCIPLINES and CORRECTS THOSE WHOM HE LOVES, AND HE PUNISHES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES and WELCOMES [ TO HIS HEART ].” You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all].”
Hebrews 12:4-8 AMP
Jesus isn’t saying don’t be grieved by what’s going on around us or in our Churches. But He is saying that in our striving for what is right, don’t neglect our relationship with Him. Make Him our cause for justice and righteousness. He’s correcting and disciplining us so we won’t miss the mark. He said we have not yet shed our blood to overcome sin and injustice, but He has. And only He, then, having shed His blood, gets to apply discipline. Try as we may, we can’t and won’t change hearts. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. If we’d pray more and talk less, maybe we’d see what we’re fighting for. He’s the Way the Truth and the Life.
Let’s not lose our influence as light bearers. Let’s fall back in love with our first Love. In Him we will overcome and be triumphant. He cares about what concerns us. Don’t forget about Him!
Father in the Name of Jesus
Thank you for reminding us that everything flows from Your love for us and our Love for you. We’re incapable of achieving any real change apart from You. Than you for correcting us and bringing us back into focus on what is important. You’ve told us that though it may cost us everything, to get understanding. Help us to focus more on You so we can better understand what’s going on around us. In Jesus Name. Amen
Jesus was willing to die on a hill for His cause, are you ready to die for yours? If the Church does not allow itself to be distracted by what’s happening around us, God can turn this chaos into a revival for His Kingdom and His Glory.
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit