December 24

Revelation 2:3-5 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which 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.

Jesus dictated seven letters to churches in Asia Minor. Each is addressed to the angel of that church. Elders oversaw the early churches. The elder that was to speak that week was sometimes referred to as the angel (messenger). The messenger for that week was to deliver Jesus' message. That is the way it should be every week.

This passage was written to the church in Ephesus. It was the church that John would oversee when released from exile. Jesus commends them, and then gives them some instructive discipline. They had endured hardships without growing weary. That says a lot! What is our normal reaction to hardships? The flesh wants to run away. If we can't run away, we complain and grow weary. This wasn't true of the persevering church in Ephesus.

They did the outward correctly, but there was something wrong in their hearts. They had left that love they first had when they were saved. When they were first redeemed, they had a revelation of God's love that captivated their hearts. Now those fires were only embers. Oh, they are still serving and worshiping faithfully, even in the face of difficulty, but something is wrong in their hearts.

Jesus is after our heart above all else. Service is just an overflow of the heart. They may be enduring now, but if their hearts continue to cool, they will no longer persevere. It is true for every Christian and every church. Have you fallen from a great height?

Consider: Is your love for Jesus stronger than it has ever been, or do you remember a time when...? Return to your first love!