I’ve been drawn again to the Lord’s words to the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2v4: “You have forsaken your first love.” You may remember that these words form part of the first letter to 7 churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 (which I believe were 7 real 1st century churches, located in what is now modern-day Turkey, but which are representative of all churches throughout history).
Perhaps you fear that such words might apply to yourself, partly or perhaps wholly because of weariness with the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic. Like the Ephesus church members we may be striving to serve God faithfully and resolutely orthodox in our theology, but something vital is missing. Doctrinally sound, but devotionally suspect.
Let us first of all be encouraged by the precise charge the Lord makes – the word “forsake” here means to leave, not to lose. Our first love can be recovered – it hasn’t gone for good. (Does this not also generally and equally apply to marriages?)
But what is this first love? Many believe that this refers both to our early passionate love for the Lord after conversion and to our love for one another (these are clearly related, see Mark 12v29-31 and 1 John 4v20). And how can we recover such love? I find it helpful to analyse the Lord’s solution in Revelation 2v5 as Remember, Repent and Return. However, the key clearly is to act!
A fundamental value of CCBC is belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word, together with the importance of clear Biblical teaching and application in our lives (2 Timothy 3v15-17). However, we must never forget the overriding importance spelt out in 1 Corinthians 13 of love – love for the Lord and for each other.
Peace and Grace