What We Lose When We Leave
INTRODUCTION: The theme of this passage is pretty much summed up in verse 4, "You have left your first love." We oftentimes boast of the fact that "you can't lose your first love, but you can leave your first love." I sense that the Lord has dealt with me in the area of what one does lose, when he or she chooses to leave.
This passage somewhat reminds me of the statement often used by the spouse who seems to be experiencing diminishing love for the other. "I love you, but I am not in love with you." The supreme characteristic of a Christian is love for his Lord and God. When challenged to name the single greatest commandment of the law, Jesus replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." He challenged His disciples to make love for Him the highest priority of their lives. Oswald Chambers would call it, "My Utmost for His Highest."
Note Jesus' confrontation - Richard Mayhue
1. Done with love and with the goal of restoration.
2. Encouragement preceded correction.
3. Christ openly and concisely stated the problem.
4. He told them how to be restored; remember your past, repent of your error, return to your best.
5. Christ clearly laid out the consequences if they did not obey.
John 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
Love for Christ is inseparable from obedience. Love originated in God, was manifested in His Son, and demonstrated in His people.
I. THE MINISTRY AT EPHESUS. 1
A. JESUS WRITES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES
This was the most prominent church of the seven. It was the mother church out of whose ministry the other six were founded. (Acts 19:10)
B. JESUS WALKS ABOUT THE CHURCHES
The Lord is seen walking among the chu ...
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