Remember Your First Love

Kevin Ibanez

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:  These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.  I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.  I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."  Revelation 2:1-5

Working for God is something that we are constantly reminded to do here at Sunrise Church, not because we are trying to earn our salvation or curry God’s favor, but because we love Jesus and want to give Him our best.  We want to offer to Him the best of our time, talents and treasures.  But sometimes, in the midst of all the busyness, we can easily fall into what I call, “work mode”.  This is when I’m just cruising along, getting things done for Christ, and forget the motivation.  I lose track of the “why” to the “what” that I am doing.

In Revelation 2:2, Jesus says that He knows “your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance”, but then later in verse four, He gives us a sobering reminder, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” I know that this is something that I struggle with at times.  I sometimes struggle with remembering my first love that I had for Jesus when my faith was fresh and new.  I remember giving hours of my time in service at my church, spending all my free time at Bible Studies, at church services and studying the Bible on my own.  But now, it’s more of a challenge to do this.

I’m reminded that what God truly wants more than anything is that our hearts would be so fully captured by Him, that when we give and serve, it would be an overflow of how we are so deeply connected to Him.  That our serving God would come so naturally that it would not feel like work or a burden.

So, remember, stay connected to God.  Walk closely to Him every day.  Spend time with Him and do not neglect your primary friendship.  Remember your first love, Jesus, and let His love pour out of you into all that you do for Him and into all the people that you encounter every day.

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