“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 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. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “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.”’
- Revelation 2:1-7
I praise the Lord for this passage for so many reasons. One of the obvious ones is that one can get so caught up in the ministry that as our dear brother Jake (who is now with the Lord) used to say "Don't get so caught up in the work of the Lord that you forget the Lord of the work".
The church of Ephesus was commended by the Lord for many things (v.2,3,6) yet they had left Jesus out of the picture (v.4). I wonder how many times well intentioned brothers and sister in Christ will get so caught up with the work of the Lord that they not realizing replace the work of the Lord in place of the Lord Himself.
Unfortunately many people have read this passage out of its context and mistakenly assumed that it was the items listed in v.3-4 that had caused them to leave their first love (Jesus), but in its context this is not the case. All of these things listed are good but Jesus has to be at the center of all of it, if not we can start losing site of the Lord. As I mentioned earlier I love this passage because it helps me understand the dangers of getting caught up in any of the things listed and leaving Jesus out.
If you are reading this and this applies to you I encourage you in the Lord Jesus to repent as He outlines in v.4. I pray that we not fall into this and lets keep Jesus at the center of all we do. Let us do as the Holy Spirit speaks through Paul to the church of Colossae in one of my favorite passages:
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." - Colossians 3:17
- Michael-Anthony Rene Chavez