“You have left your first love” Revelation 2:4
The early days of being a Christian are exciting. You’re eager to read the Bible, fellowship with other believers, and serve at church. But that passion and enthusiasm can cool down over time. Like the church at Ephesus, you can leave Jesus as your first love. That doesn’t mean you’ve walked away from your faith, or that you’re living in open rebellion to God. You can have all the right beliefs and behaviors (vv2-3) without having right priorities. So how does this happen?
First, we’re on shaky ground when we begin to put the emphasis on what we’re doing in the name of Christianity rather than on our relationship with Jesus. We start to associate activity with spiritual achievement. But activity alone doesn’t signify a healthy relationship. Our works should demonstrate our love; and love should motivate our works. So, the issue isn’t about being unloving but of loving poorly.
We can also become more devoted to Christianity as a personal creed than we are to Christ Himself. In other words, we begin to view our faith as a cause to promote instead of a relationship to pursue. Of the biblical words for love, agape’ is the most extravagant. It describes a fully surrendered, serving, and sacrificial heart. Oswald Chambers explains it this way:
Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. He was brought into a vivid, personal, overpowering relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else. “For I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Are you in danger of leaving your first love? The correction is simple—remember, repent, and do (Revelation 2:5). Remember who Jesus is, what He’s done for you, and why you served Him so lovingly in the past. Repent for allowing anyone or anything to take priority over your devotion to Christ Jesus.
Don’t simply try to replicate what you did in the past; but think back to why you did those things. Then do the work He’s given you today with the same passion and enthusiasm as when the love of Christ first flooded your heart.