What We Lose When We Leave
August 12, 2007
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."
John 14:21-24, "‘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.' Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?' Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.'"
I. THE MINISTRY AT EPHESUS. 1
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)
The Lord is seen walking among the churches scrutinizing and examining both methods and motives of their ministry. No church in history had as rich a heritage as this congregation of Ephesus. They had known the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla. Apollos, the great preacher ...
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