February 16 2022
Today, Wednesday February 16
Remember, Repent, and Repeat Revelation 2:4-7
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."
So what do you do when you lose your first love? The church of Ephesus was a wonderful church full of members that were faithfully serving, laboring, sacrificing and willing to suffer for “His name sake.” But the Lord who walks in the midst of the church saw something we do not see. They had left their first love.
When the Lord speaks to us through His Word and we hear His voice and listen, conviction takes place. Remember Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
And I couldn’t help but to also think of 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” His Word not only reveals to us what we are doing wrong (reproof), it tells us how to correct it, and then it gives us instructions on how to keep doing what is right! And that’s what we find in these verses we are studying today.
"First love" can be restored if we follow the three instructions Christ gave. First, we must remember (literally "keep on remembering") what we have lost and cultivate a desire to regain that close communion once again. We need to remember our first dependency on the Lord, His Word and the Holy Spirit that we had when we first trusted Him.
Then we must repent—change our minds—and confess our sins to the Lord (1 John 1:9). We must admit that we are just going through the motions and routine of serving, and because of past experience, now as an older Christian, we have gotten pretty good at it. We must humble ourselves and recognize the pride of our hearts that made us think that we could do God’s work in our own strength and wisdom.
Third, we must repeat the first works, which suggests restoring the original fellowship that was broken by our sin and neglect. For the believer, this means prayer, Bible reading and meditation, obedient service, and worship. But it also means we realize that we desperately need God’s grace that we can only receive by humility. “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). We read our Bibles and pray, desperately seeking God’s help to live in a righteous way for Him!
In spite of the privileges it had enjoyed, the church of Ephesus was in danger of losing its light! The church that loses its love will soon lose its light, no matter how doctrinally sound it may be. "I will come" (Rev. 2:5) is not referring to the Lord's return, but to His coming judgment then and there. The glorious city of Ephesus is today but a heap of stones and no light is shining there.
Revelation 2:7 makes it clear that individual believers within the church may be true to the Lord, no matter what others may do. In these seven messages, the "overcomers" are not a "spiritual elite," but rather the true believers whose faith has given them victory (1 John 5:4-5).
The church of Ephesus was the "careless church," made up of careless believers who neglected their love for Christ. Are we guilty of the same neglect?