But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. – John (Revelation 2:4)
Prior to this statement, John wrote some good things about the church in Ephesus, he wrote that that he knew about their works, their toil, their patient endurance and how they can’t bear with evil. He noticed and pointed out all of these great qualities, yet he still still had something against the Ephesians, that they had abandoned their first love. He then called them to remember from where they had fallen and then repent. This first love that they had abandoned was Jesus Christ. This shows that it’s possible to do all sorts of great things “for God” or “for the Kingdom” without actually acknowledging Christ, which in turn makes these things that we’ve been doing pretty worthless in the end apart from that first love, which is Christ.
John saw a problem in the Body of Christ, he noticed that believers were losing sight of Christ, who is the center and point of everything. His gospel account was even written to believers to give them a fresh revelation of Jesus. I’m convinced that this same spirit of restoring Christ in all things is running rampant in our day as well. There’s this massive need for a fresh revelation of Christ, for simplifying our lives and church lives / practice. Again, it’s possible to do things for God and yet not know Him and not abide in Him. We have to find our place in Him, our rest in Him, to properly function in Him. The point is to know Christ and walk in the truth that He is alive in and through us and we are dead.
There are so many doctrines, ministries, books, ideas and programs, so many things being thrown our way that it’s far too easy to lose sight of Christ himself. Speaking from experience, there’s lots of “good” things that I’ve done, having been formerly involved in ministry at a traditional church, that I know were more of a distraction at times. Did God give grace? Yes. But the truth was I had lost sight of Christ because I was focusing on “Christian things”. Christian things can and should never take Christ’s rightful place on the throne in our lives and ministries. We have got to be more mindful of Christ and walk this life out truly in Him.
My prayer is that I can center all things around Him in order to know Him. My hope is that we (His body) can build each other up to reveal Christ to one another and to ultimately become the bride that He is preparing. Let’s simplify what we do and how do it. Let’s find our place and rest in Him so that we can simply know Him in experience.
What are your thoughts, observations & lessons you’ve learned on this subject?