“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands. ‘I know the things you do, I have seen your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first.” Revelation 2:1-5
I lost a necklace recently. It had been a gift and I loved it. It was troubling partially because I’d lost it, but I also couldn’t remember exactly where I’d left it or worn it last. We all misplace things. We are in a hurry or distracted when we lose our keys and our phones.
And We don’t just lose keys and phones. We live in a fast-paced world full of distractions and influences, that can lead to misplacing our values and priorities as well. We don’t do this on purpose. We aren’t intentional about losing things. We are just distracted enough, or in a hurry enough to not be deliberate about putting them in a place where they can be found.
The church in Ephesus had things right from the very beginning. “Surely the church in Ephesus was a place of great privilege and great preaching.” (Robertson) This was a church in a booming metropolis that sat under the teachings of Priscilla, Aquila, Apollos, Timothy, and Paul. They knew how to discern truth and sound doctrine because they’d heard it. But in the midst of their desire to discern truth, they’d misplaced their first priority; love. Like us, they weren’t deliberate in NOT loving, they just weren’t deliberate in doing the things that would cause them to guard and maintain their first priority; love. They were doing a lot of “good” things, they’d just lost their meaning and source for all those good things.
John Mark Comer wrote a book entitled, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry », and in it says, “Our time is our life, and our attention is the doorway to our hearts”. If we are to keep our first love, we must be deliberate with our time and intentional with our attention. We must work to not lose it. Someone once told me, “What you believe in, you have time for!” Do not discard or let your let your time to sit in God’s presence, or feed on his word be squeezed out because of doing good things. “Being” in His presence is a Greater thing. Letting all you do be an overflow of feasting on His presence is a Greater thing. It’s like trying to run a car without fuel. Feasting and focusing on the “Never stopping, Never giving up, I breaking, always and forever” love of God (Sally Lloyd Jones) puts fuel in your tank. And the unstoppable response to God’s love…..?? WORSHIP and everything we do becomes an act of worship! Spend this day Knowing God’s love for you and worship.
(If you need some scripture to pray through here are a few: Romans 8:37-39, Isaiah 54:10, Zephaniah 3:17, 1John 3:1)
“O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee,
I give you back the life I owe
And in your ocean depths it’s flow May richer, fuller be”