Several years ago, Barbara Walters asked Katherine Hepburn, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you like to be?” As you read today’s Bible reading, let me ask, “Which church do you think you are? Which church would you like to be?”
John takes Jesus’ dictation for the letters to the seven churches. One thing to note: none of the churches is perfect. Each church has its good points, but each also lacks in something.
In some ways, I think the church in Ephesus is one of the more chilling judgments. Jesus points out all of the good things that a church should be good at. But then, he points out the most important thing and that’s the one thing He has against them: They have lost their first love. (Revelation 2:4)
Maintaining your first love for Jesus is one of the hardest things to do. It takes a daily commitment. Actually, it takes a moment-by-moment commitment.
Jesus gives the Ephesian church a prescription for its first-love loss: Remember, repent, and re-do. (Revelation 2:5)
Remember how things used to be when you started in your relationship with Christ. Repent and turn back. And go back and do the things you used to do. But note, the doing again isn’t the first thing. It follows remembering and repenting.
Too often we lose focus and think it’s about the “doing”. It’s not. It’s about returning to the relationship.
So where are you in your love relationship with Jesus?
I’m not asking about doing. I’m asking about relationship. Do you enjoy your relationship with Jesus like you used to? Do you love Him like you used to? If not, why not? What are some of the things you did at the beginning of your relationship to help it grow?
Jesus puts a premium on maintaining our love relationship with Him. In our reading today, He says that if we don’t keep it maintained, we will lose our influence in the world. And that’s bad.
This devotional was originally published November 30, 2019.