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Rediscovering Your First Love by Robert Massey

Revelation 2:1-7
Rev. 2:1-7
Can a person be too busy doing God’s work that they are too busy for God. I believe that the answer to that
question is yes, you can. There are many people who are always busy with church work, but somewhere their
relationship with God is being neglected. After a while, people just begin going through the motions, without
really being involved. I remember from one of my psychology courses in college, that an individual, after
performing a task for over a certain period of time, becomes habituated to it. It becomes a habit, without the
senses being involved. Imagine just for a moment, what you went through this morning when you got behind
the wheel of your car. You opened the door, sat down in the driver’s seat, inserted the key and turned on the
ignition. You then placed the car in gear and began to drive to church. You accelerated once you got on the
highway and began to drive somewhere between 45-55 mph. During this time, you are watching for obstacles in
the road, increasing or decreasing speed according to the road conditions. You brake for the stop signs and red
lights, speed up and slow down with traffic, all the time carrying on a conversation with some one else in the
car, or listening to the radio. There are many different activities and actions that went into you driving to church
this morning, however, most of you gave very little thought to what was going on around you and all the activity
your mind was engaged in to make it here this morning. You become so familiar with driving, that you now give
it little thought.
Some one once said that familiarity breeds contempt. As in every proverb, there is often an element of truth. If
it is not contempt, often that which becomes familiar to us, we take for granted. This can be harmful in
relationships when the passion is lost and then the relationship is basically taken for granted. This is especially
so in the most important relationship that a Christian has, the relationship with Christ. The church at Ephesus
had fallen to this level in their relationship with Christ. This was not what we would classify as a "bad" church.
Christ had several commendations for this church. First, He knew their works, this was a dynamic, active
church. The Greek word ergon, from which we get energy, is used for works. There were things going on in this
church. I am sure that all the proper actions were going on, there were prayer meetings, Bible studies, acts of
benelevance, and communion was offered. Second, this is what we would call a dedicated church. The word
labor is used, referring to burdens and troubles which this church had suffered, but they were dedicated to
continuing on. Third, this was a determined church. Christ commended them for their patience. Patience is used
here with the idea of enduring whatever obstacles were before them. No doubt persecution had been thrown at
them, but they endured. Fourth, they were commended for being a disciplined church, they could not tolerate
evil, they believed in holiness, so you could call this a holiness church. Christ commended this church for hating
deeds of the Nicolaitans. This group believed that Christ had given them such liberty, that they could continue to
sin, without retribution. Last, Christ commended them for being a discerning church. They were not an
"anything goes" church, they cared about purity in the pulpit and proper Biblical doctrine. For all of these things,
Christ commended them.
However, in verse 4, He levies a serious charge against this church. Yes, it was a dynamic church, yes, it was a
dedicated church, yes, it was a determined church, yes, it was a disciplined church and yes it was a discerning
church. Yet, in spite of all these positives, Jesus knew that something was seriously wrong with this church. He
said, Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. In other words, "I hold
this against you, you no longer have your first love." To hold something against a friend or family member is a
serious thing, but when the Lord of the Universe holds something against the church, it is time to tremble. The
Lord Jesus is able to look beyond all the flurries of activity and look straight to the heart.
We would think that this must be a great church. I mean, to find all of this going on would lead us to think this
must be the perfect church. I can just imagine what we might think, this church has a great youth program,
they are involved in their community, they have a great choir, this has got to be the place. However, Jesus looks
beyond the outward appearance and goes to the heart of the matter. Despite all of their good deeds, this church
had a major heart problem, and a church that does not have a healthy heart will not last long. This church no
longer loved Christ as it once had. Their relationship with Christ was no longer vibrant, but now stale and taken
for granted. They were going through all the right motions, but giving little thought to their relationship with
Christ.
It bothers me today, for there are still many who are in the same condition. Outwardly, things look well, but
inwardly, the heart no longer is filled with love for Jesus. Trying to live the Christian life without being filled with
love for Him will soon cause you to wind up empty and just a shell of what Christ intends for you to have and
be.

Out of that first love’s joy was a hunger that wanted more and more of Jesus. Peter wrote to the early church and said. Have you ever noticed. but God saved you and gave you a place with Him. so that you sought Him until He filled you with the Holy Spirit. If we find ourselves loosing the passion of our love affair with Christ. I. he remembered home and the abundance associated with it. 1. Jesus gives three steps for renewing your love affair with Him. as just some little petty something without any real dire consequences. 7. to arouse. Remember how that you were nobodies. the joy. 5. He wasn’t talking to the lost. sometimes it means doing without some things so we can get what we want. when we leave the first love. II. and I remember the joy that I felt once I came up from that altar. and God made a somebody out of you. and eventually ended up feeding hogs. The burden was gone. I remember going to the altar and praying. to stir you up by putting you in remembrance. spent all that he had. 2. REPENT. All that they had done was just lost a little of the passion that they once had for Christ. It is a dangerous and perilous situation to love one’s first love for Christ for to do so is sin. He gave me light for paths so dim. The whole world seemed brighter and more colorful.Here in this passage of scripture. 6. There’s not a doubt I know its real. Memory can be very powerful. In other words. Tho’ earthly friends may turn me down. had fallen. Remember that you were on your way to hell. this was a dynamic. and the peace of mind that you received the moment you said yes to Christ? I remember the day that I said yes to Christ. that it would stir up old desires and awaken a new hunger for fellowship with Him. That’s just how Satan wants us to view this. 8. O how I changed since I found Him. Have you ever noticed the twinkle in the eyes of a child on Christmas morning when their Christmas presents are opened? They are mesmerized and filled with wonder. He was the most important person in the world. He was talking to His church. They had fallen away. It was used by Peter to address the mob that crucified Jesus. since the Lord saved me. Memories can stir up powerful emotions. In Luke 15. But Jesus spoke to this church and told them to repent. "Yea. we take action toward getting what we want. that we take action toward those things we desire? When we truly want something. Just like the old song. or money. or fell from their position. I’m in a new world since the Lord saved me. burdened. and I perish with hunger! When he was there with the hogs. disciplined. In this message he describes those who are backslidden in heart as 1) loosing their consecration to God. who left home. He uses the Greek word "diegeiro" (di-eg-ei-ro) which means to agitate. but God found you. to remember what their relationship once was like. Remember that you were lost. 3. And when he came to himself." (2 Pet 1:13). Yet in just a couple of days. he said. old things are passed away. He did not use a milder word that meant something less. I want to make sure that you understand this. more important than jobs. Charles Finney once preached a message called the Backslidden in Heart. 1. Oh that God would help us to remember that joy when we first received Christ. careers. 4. When we begin to remember the joy of our first love with Christ. 3) and withdrawing themselves from that state of entire and total surrender to God and coming again under the control of a self-pleasing spirit. Jesus told this church to remember from where they had fallen. He did not use a different word. all things are new today. this is a form of the same word used to describe what John came preaching and the same word used to describe what Jesus preached in His day. 3rd: I can’t explain the way I feel. to awaken or stir." 4. Now remember. I think it meet. 5. we have the story of the prodigal son. I’m in a new world. it doesn’t take long until . the new toys are often left shoved under the bed. REMEMBER FROM WHERE YOU HAVE FALLEN. Luke 15:17. as they walked with Him. as long as I am in this tabernacle. or placed in the toy box. As a matter of fact. I’ll still retain the peace I found. 2) leaving the first love. This church. not diminish. I remember sitting in the pew. there is a longing in our hearts that begins to move us toward home. and weeping for God to save me. when he told them to repent and believe. This can be seen especially in children. He set my captive spirit free. He remembered the goodness of the Father and how that the servants were even well treated. "The Lord has been so good to me. Love for Christ should grow. in spite of all it had going for it. he got up and headed home. Even though we may go through all the right motions. 9. determined. We should never allow that to happen with our relationship with Christ. Some times it means extra work. One tendency that humans seem to share is the tendency to forget. How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare. And then what happened. the hallelujahs roll. Christ knew if the church could just remember the joy and freshness of that 1st love. 2. 3. and discerning church. dedicated. there’s glory in my soul. There are some who have a hard time believing that the church ever needs to repent. but Jesus knows the danger and Jesus knows the importance of maintaining a heart full of love for Him. we need to follow these three steps. he began to remember. Do you remember the day that the Lord saved you? Do you remember the thrill. with the novelty worn off.

3. Renew themselves again in His presence. that you can be an influence for Him. This occurred after certain ones took it upon themselves to attempt to cast out an evil spirit while being in the flesh. Acts 19:1-7 . an emphasis on divine intervention in the life of the church. Now what could He be talking about? To truly understand this. we had better look and see what is wrong. and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. I hunger to see people filled with the Holy Spirit. Great is the LORD. handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from Paul and people were healed. Listen to some of the points Finney said in this message. Ps 145:3. much like when they were first dating. They needed to change their attitude toward Christ and resume their first love. Christ said to this church "repent". c. The Greek would render this as to be continually filled with the Spirit. 4. and spake boldly for the space of three months. and his righteousness. Special miracles were wrought by the hand of Paul. it influences the darkness around it with light. For the LORD is great. "We always love saying and doing those things that please the one we love most. Go to Acts 19:1-20. We need that hunger every day for the Lord to anoint us with fresh oil. and greatly to be praised. And be not drunk with wine. and his greatness is unsearchable. 7. an emphasis through preaching and teaching on the Kingdom of God. The counterfeit will not suffice. This is God’s rule for your life. God has something better. it is a commitment. placing an emphasis on being filled with the Spirit. Authority was being taken over the devil and demonic spirits were cast out. a city set upon a hill. Ps 48:1. for the city soon lost its influence and today is nothing more than just ruins. Now what does a candlestick or candle do. above any and all things. 1st. that’s all that’s left.the story of John’s disciples at Ephesus. that’s God’s plan for your life this morning. God’s plan for the church is that it would be an influence for Him.(Wives. There becomes a lost of spiritual enjoyment. The first works require: a. III. Note verses 11-12. But seek ye first the kingdom of God. When we loose our first love. and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. If we are not burning with the passion of Christ. you are living below your privilege as a child of God. There was an emphasis on the Kingdom of God. 3rd. is just ruins of what once might have been. 7. Great is the LORD. Jesus told this church to redo the first works. showing the praises of God." There is an outward formality in religious exercises that is emotionless and cold.. A desire for worldly amusements to attempt to fill the vacuum. Where is the passion for Christ? 6. . and greatly to be praised in the city of our God. disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. instead of a joy. God was working in His church and it was being emphasized. If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. We can talk about programs and weather. but in the power of the Spirit. I don’t want my light removed but I want to give glory to God. to do acts of kindness toward each other. we ought to encourage one another that this world is not our home. can I get an amen?) Because what counselors have discovered is that couples who are willing to redo the acts of first love. love is more than just a feel good type of emotion. Altar: How about you? Are you still in passionate love with Jesus? If not. and fear fell on them all. Note verse 8. and all these things shall be added unto you.all that we do becomes a drudgery and a task. Jesus said in Matt 6:33. He will come quickly and remove their candlestick from its place. It doesn’t take long to become critical and self indulgent. but lets talk about what God is doing. I wish I could say that Ephesus repented. an emphasis was placed on reverencing the Lord and praising Him. Christ concludes this letter by saying that if the church does not follow His admonition. Jesus looked at this church and said it needed to repent because going through the motions will never be enough to please God. b. d. You see. 1. Notice that Christ called for action upon the part of the church. but apparently they did not. Note verse 17. in the mountain of his holiness. God’s rule or reign is God’s will. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus. it gives light. 6. Maybe like giving each other a compliment upon greeting each other. We can look at this two fold. First. This means placing God first and foremost in your life. are often able to recapture the magic and emotions of the first love. Paul prayed that they would be filled with the Holy Ghost. the demon attacked them and glory was given to God for the church was already doing this. 5. but be filled with the Spirit. wherein is excess. We must not be ashamed of being Pentecostal. Paul wrote to this very Ephesian church and said in Eph 5:18. or buying some flowers or candy for the other. there’s no greater calling nor no greater challenge than being a light for Christ. Ps 96:4. 4th. 2. Do we reverence the Lord and do we come together to truly praise His name? Let us remember what the Psalmist said. We need to emphasis this. it’s time to pray. 2nd. The kingdom of God is where God reigns or rules. Marriage counselors will often tell couples who have lost the feelings of love. And he went into the synagogue. The name of the Lord was magnified or praised. REDO THE FIRST WORKS. we need to look at the origin of this church.