Do you remember your first love? That puppy love that brought tingles to your heart? The happiness of just being together to enjoy one another and life too.
Jesus is speaking here to John, about the Church in Ephesus. To get a little background you can read Acts 18-20. Ephesus was a wicked city given to idol worship. Given to self-pleasures.
Ephesus was known as the Early Church – the Apostolic Church. This church was very evangelistic and wanting others to know about Jesus. They were on fire for the Kingdom of God.
One thing about the Early Church was the large population of Jews that were converted and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They had a good knowledge of God’s Laws and Ways.
Now let’s take a look at the message that Jesus had for this church:
The Message to the Church in Ephesus
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
“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! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
“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.
Learn how to treasure these words.
There are many views and commentaries on the Book of Revelation and as I have mentioned to you, you can get caught up in these beliefs if you are not careful and lose the meaning behind the words. I am sharing my thoughts and I encourage you to seek what God has to say to you through these Words.
The Angel of the Church: My thoughts are that each church has its own angel. A guardian angel who stands to protect the Church. But don’t get caught up in this. Look to the message.
What does Jesus have to say about the church? They have worked hard and their patience has endured through these difficult times. They challenged those who came and said that they were apostles and the leaders were able to reveal those liars about who they really were. They patiently suffered for their testimonies in Christ Jesus. They stood strong in what they had been taught.
But somewhere along the line, they had lost sight of their first love – for Jesus and for one another. He is asking them to take a good look at where they are at and then repent and turn back to the way they were in the beginning – on fire – in love – faithful.
They hated the evil acts of the Nicolaitans. Those who worked hard at spreading lies and working hard at bringing doubt into the congregations.
The word “Nicolaitans,” comes from two Greek words: niko, meaning “to conquer, overthrow,” and laos, meaning “the people, laity.” This group practiced sensuality by separating one’s spiritual and physical nature. That old story of giving one’s self a licensed to sin. Stirring up trouble within the believers.
Key words for me today, are found in the last part of this scripture: If you have ears, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
How does this message speak to believers today?
I will share my thoughts here: Like the Early Church we are called to be workers filled with joy serving the Lord with our gifts. We need to remember what it felt like when we first accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and how we felt about one another. We must be wise as to not get caught up in legalism and in the thoughts and the ways of those who want a “license” to do what they want and not what Jesus has called them to do. For you see, all things are possible with Jesus. We can overcome our sins and our temptations, but we must be willing and ready at all times.
I believe this message rings loud and clear to believers of today. I believe that a daily walk and talk with the Lord is our connection to remember and to keep our first love of Jesus and others in our hearts always.
Refresh yourself today in this message. Renew your mind. Rededicate your life to the Lord. Ask him to show you the way – to show you where you have fallen.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for this message and the reminder of how it felt when I accepted your Son as my Lord and my Savior. Thank you for the reminder of old friends in the Lord and what life was like when I was on fire for Your Kingdom. Help us to not battle between the Words written but instead use this message to grow closer to you again. I love you, Lord. I ask this in Christ Jesus’ name, amen.
I have heard many today mentioning that it may be time for us to move back to the basics – the basics of Christianity. Maybe God is calling us back to the Early Church – to basics – to memories of our First Love.