LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES - Revelation
"To the angel of the church of Ephesus write ..."I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil....” Revelation 2:1a, 2a NKJV
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The Ephesian believers were diligent in guarding the true gospel which had been given to them. Jesus commends them, “...You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary...” Then John writes the convicting words dictated by Jesus Himself: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4
In their sincere desire to root out false teaching, a sad thing happened - they lost their love for the very people they were ministering to. After awhile perhaps they viewed everyone with suspicion rather than depending on the grace and love of God to be their guide. Jesus sternly warns,
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place -- unless you repent.” (2:5) There would be nothing worse than a once vibrant loving church to lose its light in the place where they lived.
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I can see from this passage that serving without love is futile. We can be oh so busy and oh so right and yet without love we are nothing. Restore to us a right spirit O Lord. Amen.
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"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV