Our First Love
Revelation 2:1-7: 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.
Our first love is our daily fellowship with God in prayer and the Word and the consequent keeping and doing of His commandments:
John 14:21-24 NKJV: He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
Here, the Lord Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that they had left their first love: even though they had works, labor, patience and hatred for evil.
Notice the Lord said here that they had left their first love: so they were with their first love initially.
In fact, it was their fellowship with their first love that caused them to have commendable labor, works, patience and hatred of evil.
However, they were now doing these things by the flesh and not by the power of the spirit, since they had left first love.
For instance, a car that has been moving by power of it’s engine, will have speed and momentum. If the engine is switched off it will still have some speed and momentum that will gradually diminish until the car stops if the engine is not switched back on.
However, while it is still moving, to an outside observer, the car may still be moving very fast, only the driver and maybe some of those inside the car will know that the engine is off and the car will soon stop if the engine is not switched back on.
This was what was happening to the Ephesian church and is happening in the lives of many Christians: the engine of our spiritual lives is switched off when we leave our first love of fellowship with God in prayer, the Word and obedience.
However, to outside observers the residual spiritual momentum we have from our previous fellowship with our first love makes them think we are still very spiritual when they still see our works, labour, patience and hatred for evil. This is why it is not wise to judge according to outward appearance (John. 7.24).
However, the Lord and those that are spiritual discerning know that our spiritual ‘engine’ is switched off and very soon we will come to spiritual standstill: this is what the Lord meant when He said ‘ I will remove your candlestick if you do not repent and do the first works’.
So, it is vital that we stay with our first love, and not just have ‘leaves’ (i.e. mere external good works) without ‘fruit’ (Mk. 11.13-14) (that comes from internal fellowship with our first love).
Matthew 6:33 NKJV: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Luke 17:20-21 NKJV: He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.“
Romans 14:17-18: for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.