4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.5 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.
You would think that the church in Ephesus would have been a spiritual stronghold. Paul himself devoted a lot of his time and effort to developing that church. In his absence he appointed Timothy as an able leader. You can see the passion that Paul exhorted Timothy in his letters 1 and 2 Timothy. Yet when God addresses the Ephesian church, even though they are commendable in enduring persecution and guarding God’s truth, He delivers a rebuke even as he commends their good works.
You have forsaken the love you had at first.
Somehow, in all of the ministry and sufferings of persecution, the church in Ephesus had lost their love. God calls them to not only turn their actions to Him, but also their very hearts. As I read this I feel convicted. It seems so easy to get so lost in producing ministry that I slowly move from doing it from love to doing it out of routine and general conviction. As God rebukes the Ephesians He rebukes me as well. And because of this, this is my prayer for myself and us today. Would you pray this with me?
Heavenly Father, you have given us the ultimate example of how to live passionately and lovingly through your son Jesus Christ, our Savior. He was always moved by love for You and has endured in love in all circumstances. Today Lord, I offer my heart to You. I ask that you would teach me through Your Spirit how to persevere in the serving You with a true love that I have received through the grace and mercy of Jesus. I once again turn my heart towards You. May you be honored with my heart as well as my deeds.