“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
– Revelation 2:1-5
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
– 1 John 3:1-3
Children of God
With all the pressures of a modern world, particularly in the current financial climate, it is easy to become a bit ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas. Sometimes, as Christians we can end up with a similar attitude to our faith and church. It can all become a bit tired. We do the right things, go through the motions but sometimes we get to a point where the spark is no longer there. I think that must have been a bit of what had happened in this church in Ephesus that Jesus is speaking to. He acknowledges that they’ve been doing some good things but Jesus holds one thing against them, they have ‘forsaken their first love’.
When we forget what our salvation means, when we forget that we are children of God, when we forget the blessings we have in our lives – we must repent. A curmudgeonly spirit, although we kind of like that in Britain, is ultimately a very ugly thing.
I took two of my god daughters to Stockeld Park to get our Christmas tree today along with my friends. I love spending Christmas around children – they have such joy and excitement at this time of year. Let that be an example to us to remember our ‘first love’ – to remember why we follow Jesus and to give thanks for the abundant blessings He has poured out on us.
One of the easiest ways to pray is to ‘count your blessings’. Try and think of 10 things to thank God for today. Thank Him for those things and acknowledge how God is at work in your life, repent of the times you forget your ‘First Love’.
To finish up today, here is a song from a band I loved when I was at university called Jars of Clay. It’s all about having faith like a child: