by Stephen F. Olford
Text: "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Rev. 2:4, [1-7]).
Thought: These words were addressed to a church that was efficient in service, blameless in character, orthodox in doctrine, but mysteriously lacking in love. The obvious lesson that emerges is that the most tragic condition in Christian experience is that of a left love. We do well, therefore, to consider:
I. The Cause of a Left Love: " . . . thou hast left thy first love" (v. 4). An examination of the facts reveals that the cause of the left love was failure to fulfill certain simple laws, which determine the nourishment, protection, and development of love. These laws were part of the teaching of the Ephesians' church, so that they were without excuse. Paul had written to them about this very matter, exhorting the believers to feed their love, show their love, and guard their love (Eph. 3:17-19; 4:2, 16; 5:1-2). Have you left your first love?
II. The Cost of a Left Love: "...I have somewhat against thee...thou art fallen...I will...remove thy candlestick..." (vv. 4,5). Here are words which spell out the cost of a left love in terms of unspeakable grief, unutterable shame, and unpredictable loss. It certainly costs to leave our first love!
III. The Cure for a Left Love: "Remember...repent...do the first works..." (v. 5). The way back to a renewed love in Christ is one of reflection on our backslidings, repentance of our sins, and a return to our first works. Such a return is not easy. Indeed, the Savior anticipates this by saying: "...To him that overcometh will I give eat of the tree of life..." (v. 7). It is going to involve spiritual warfare to regain the lost paradise of fellowship, fruitfulness, and fullness of life. But how worthwhile!
Thrust: More love to Thee, O Christ, More love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make, on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea .
Elizabeth P. Prentiss
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