If Jesus were to write a love letter stating all the things He loves about you, would the words “But I have this against you” be included?
In a letter to the church of Ephesus, Jesus says, “I know your deeds and your toil and your perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men. . . you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:2-4 NASB).
A thriving church whose hard workers labored for the Lord, the congregation at Ephesus didn’t tolerate evil men or put up with any false teachings. And even though they lived in one of the most licentious cities of the ancient time, they preserved and endured for Christ’s sake.
But they had fallen into a trap—the same one we can fall into today. They were so busy working for the Lord that they had forgotten the deep love they felt for Jesus Christ when they first got saved. They allowed their fervor, devotion, and commitment to Jesus to cool off. We are no different. We can do the same without even realizing it because the change comes so subtly.
Have you gotten caught up in the busyness of life and in the busyness of "doing" church? Have you lost the fervor, the desire, the yearning, and the thirst for God’s Word? Are you someone who dampens enthusiasm in other people or are you a catalyst allowing the warmth of your love for Christ to spread? We need to stay focused on the truth that the most important thing in our lives is not all the work we can do for Jesus, but the fact that we get to have a relationship with Him.
Dr. Stanley shares more about why we ought to put a greater focus on our relationship with Christ in his message, “The Priority of Relationship,” airing today on radio.