“I know all the things you do. I
have seen your hard work and your
patient endurance . I know you
don’t tolerate evil people. You have
examined the claims of those who
say they are apostles but are not .
You have discovered they are
liars . You have patiently
suffered for me without quitting.
But I have this complaint against
you. You don’t love me or each
other as you did at first”
When I consider these verses from the letter to the Ephesians in Revelation, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that basically tells us no matter how great we are in what we do, if we don’t have love, we are nothing. Jesus’ message to The Ephesians continues by saying that if they don’t repent he will remove their lamp stand from among the churches. Basically, they will cease to exist as one of the seven churches of Asia. If you are just going through the right actions and keeping God’s word, but don’t love God and God’s people, it just doesn’t matter. Love is what counts, first, and then the other actions are added to it because of your love.
An example of this would be our love for our spouse and their love for us. If your spouse is kind to you, supports you, and is faithful but doesn’t really love you, you would immediately realize something is wrong. He or she is going through the actions, but there is no passion, no real connection. You have to love first with passion and desire. We often hear people say that the love is just gone. They don’t feel it anymore. No matter how good the spouse is, it is pretty hard to stay together when the love is gone.
Jesus looks at it as a sin. He says in verse 5b “If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.” The message here is very evident, love God with all your mind, spirit, and soul and love one another. The messages to the seven churches are also messages to us. Each one is followed by a specific verse calling for all to follow the advice. The message to the Ephesians ends with verse 7:
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.”
This is a reward for all of us who do not lose the passion of our first love for God.
I pray that God will bless you with fruit from the tree of life because you have kept your love for Him as passionate as it was in the beginning. In Jesus’ name. Amen.