ABANDONING OUR FIRST LOVE

Scripture Reading: Revelation 2:1-7

“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4)

The church at Ephesus had been founded by Paul (Acts 18:19-21). Ephesus was the largest and most important city in the Roman province of Asia. Christ commended the members of the church for their diligent work, perseverance, and commitment to sound doctrine. But there was one great weakness that characterized the people in the church at Ephesus — “You have abandoned the love you had at first.”

Love is a major priority for Christians. The two greatest commandments involve love for God and love for one’s neighbor (Mark 12:28-31). In Paul’s great chapter on love, He concludes his discussion on love ends with these words — “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13).

While these early Christians were active in ministry and sound in theology, their love for Christ had waned. They lost that initial heartfelt love and devotion to their Savior. It is so easy for us to allow this to happen as well. We get careless and busy, and forget the One who loved us and saved us from our sins. We begin to allow other things to occupy the seat of the affections of our hearts. We fail to spend time with Jesus and neglect our Bible reading, meditation and prayer. Before we know it we lose the wonder of our love for Jesus. We abandon our first love for Him.

I’ll never forget when I first became a Christian and realized how much Jesus loves me. I was taken by Him and my love for Him was filled with wonder and gratitude. Do you remember your first love for Jesus? But as time goes by, we can easily lose that first love. We let other things slip into first place in our lives. We have other first loves that cause us to abandon the first love we had for Jesus.

Jesus told the people of Ephesus how to regain their first love — “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent; and do the works you did at first” (v. 5). We must go back to the beginning of our walk with Christ and bring to mind the first love we had for Him. We must be honest and admit that we have abandoned that first love and repent. We must confess this to God and redirect the affections of our hearts back to Jesus. Finally, we must go back to the basics of the faith — spending time with Jesus in Bible reading, meditation, and prayer. We must reflect on His love for us and find our greatest delight in Him. As we do these things, we will fall in love with Jesus again. We will be overcome with His love, and when this happens, we will be filled with wonder and love for Him again.

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have abandoned my first love for You. I have allowed other things to take priority over You. The affections of my heart have been on other things and I have failed to love You as I should. I remember my first love for You and repent that I have left that love for the idols I harbor in my heart. Enable me to redirect the affections of my heart toward You. Enable me to restore my first love for You.

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