The message was brought by Brother David Osborne.
Revelation 2: Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Let’s think about courtship before marriage. We were consumed with love. We were devoted to each other. We spent time together. The ceremony comes for the marriage and then the honeymoon. I want to look at the knitting of hearts together. When verse 4 mentions first love it can be looked at as honeymoon love.
First, let’s consider salvation, the born again experience. God convicted us of our sins and showed us its consequences. We realized that we’d not be accepted into heaven. God didn’t leave us hanging but gave us the gift of his Son in the free pardon of sin. We decided to accept the gift of his Son. Look what God did! He took our sins and put them as far away from us as the east is from the west, into the depths of the sea. Jesus Christ the Righteous gave us free pardon from sin. We couldn’t go to heaven with sin. We all fell under the same category—we were sinners no matter what the sins were. The Bible says the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Can you remember the day you realized it? Consider your salvation again. Don’t ever forget what the Lord did for you. Remember when you were eager for the Word. If you’re going to run a race you have to start it. If you’ve never been saved, you’re not yet in the family of God. There must be obedience to the Word, separation, and love for others. Are your prayers being answered? There are common doubts about salvation in the lives of people. Some rely on feelings or emotions instead of what God has done. Some struggle with habitual sin. If we’re not careful it will get us. Many receive wrong teaching. There is false teaching even in our Protestant churches. We must know there was a time that we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Good works won’t do it. We are saved by grace through faith—not of works lest any man should boast. Our salvation hinges on whether we believe in what Jesus did on Calvary.
Second, let’s consider the setbacks. We have an enemy, an opposing force who knows how to deceive and discourage. Are you still living in your honeymoon love stage or has Satan dragged you down to where you lost your first love? God inspired John to write this to the church at Ephesus, but it is for us today. Beware of the setbacks that can come after being saved. Discouragement is a big enemy of faith. We all go through valleys when the Lord feels very far away. It might be the loss of a loved one or a bad illness. It’s easy to get discouraged and forget our first love. It’s easy to forget what Jesus did on Calvary. Discouragement can overwhelm us. Rather than keep our eyes on the cross and the holy throne of God, we neglect the Word. We get in a routine with salvation and lose contact with the scripture. If we truly get into the Word and spend time with the Lord, we can make it through. He’s the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star, the rose of Sharon, the Alpha and Omega. He cheers us on. Don’t be discouraged. Sometimes depression could be taken care of if we’d get our focus back on Jesus. Beware of the setback of discouragement. Beware of dangerous situations. When things get to be routine, complacency sets in. We find sins of omission a problem. We may find ourselves in the stronghold of sin through a weakness. Satan has his crosshairs on our weakness. He’s a master at deception. He hates us, and his goal is to make us think that we do the right thing when we don’t. Beware that you don’t lose that first love.
Third, consider the lily. Jesus is the lily of the valley. You don’t find many lilies on the mountaintops. They’re in the valley. It’s been said that we are all either in a storm now, will be in one in the near future, or are coming out of one. The purpose of valleys is to make us progress as Christians. We’ll never reach perfection, but we strive for it. It keeps the honeymoon love stirred up and grows us stronger and stronger. Hard times are to help us grow stronger.
If we’re not trying to reach the lost we’ll get discouraged. Jesus is concerned about souls. Consider what the Lord has done and refresh your spirit. Settle the sins of omission. Is it your utmost desire to please the Lord? I John 1:9 was written to Christians. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Get your first love back. Be stirred up for the Lord. The reason the Lord hasn’t returned is there are still people to be saved. Don’t be satisfied where you are. Focus on what the Lord has done and love him with all your might. Then we can love our neighbor as we do ourselves.
It is of utmost importance to get your first love back. I’ve lost it before. The Lord stirred my heart. He chastened me. If you’ve not had a spiritual spanking, be concerned. The Lord chastens whom he loves. If you need to come back and renew anything with God, now is the time.