In Revelation 2:4, God speaks to the church at Ephesus,
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” (ESV)
We often get busy doing things and forget who we are and what we were when we began. When we begin our life in Christ, with a strong love for God. But as we grow and become successful, that love for God might take a back seat in life.
When God speaks to the church at Ephesus. He beings with an appreciation for them and goes on to say, there’s one thing I have against you. That is, “You have abandoned the love you had at first.”
There’s one important word that I will be writing about. That is,
This word can be described best in its context this way, according to Greek.
Abandoned = to give up, keep no longer
To understand this verse more clearly, let me write it this way.
– “You have given up on the Love you had at first”
The church at Ephesus was a church that endured suffering, worked hard, persevered, ethically and morally right, good at discerning and testing the so-called false prophets, and were persecuted yet stood for the name of Christ and have not grown weary by any means, but over time they had lost their love for God.
We read in the Old Testament, the priests in the temple were appointed to serve God (Exodus 28:1); to offer sacrifices, and do atonement once in a year for all the people. (Leviticus. 4:3-21) Over time their hearts turned away and started to fail in their commitment to God. Although they might have continued the daily routine of work in the temple but the commitment had dwindled down. Where there is no love, there is no commitment. So whatever is the daily work, it’s done as a routine; mundane work without any commitment. In Ezekiel 22:26, God speaks on how the priests rob widows, committed violence and have profaned the holy things, failed to teach people the difference between clean and unclean and disregarded the Sabbath day so that the name of God is dishonored. These were some of the ultimate things that happened. The same priests appointed by God; lost their love for God and hence lost commitment for their work. Somewhere along the lines, they failed to keep their love alive for God. In other words, they have given up on their love for God.
If we take this passage and reflect on our own life, I think we can relate to the Church at Ephesus. We do many things for God. We may work a worship leader, preacher, and play many more roles in the church. We’ve become busy doing what those roles require and have forgotten the basics.
We have become like the expert in the law who tried testing Jesus with a question, (he would have thought he was smarter, respected and did great works in the synagogue and society) Jesus answered saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mathew 22:37) Jesus reminds him about the basics. That is no matter what you do. Do it with the Love towards God — only that will glorify God.
I started this blog with saying, when we start our life in Jesus we are filled with that Love for God.
Love for God is our basic foundation. That is where it all begins.
No matter, how successful we become, we have to learn to walk back to our basics; that is to soak ourselves in our Love towards God.