Chapter two begins a section where we see praises and critiques of the seven churches. Remember, however, that these seven churches represent the Church as a whole. These are messages to all of us.
👉 Ephesus (v 2-4):
• they had toiled and endured
• they did not bear evil
• they could discern false teaching
• they had not grown weary
They had abandoned the love they had at first.
Their works were based on law, not love. Commitment, not compassion. Right actions with wrong attitudes.
How often do we do the same? We work, we serve, we keep doing the next right thing – but our hearts are cold, bitter, bored, and resentful?
Have we forgotten the “why” behind what we do? Have we abandoned the love we had at first and now just serve on autopilot?
👉 The Lord calls us to:
• remember [the passion for and priority placed on loving God and loving people]
• repent [confess that love has not been fueling our efforts and ask the Lord to reignite our hearts]
• return [do it like before – when people mattered more than programs and platforms and God got all the glory]
👉 If not – the Lord will remove the lamp stand – which we learned in chapter 1 represents the church itself. In other words, a church that isn’t built on love of God and love of neighbor will cease to be a church at all.
👉 But – if we remember, repent, and return – the reward is access to the tree of life (v 7). The tree of life has been cut off from man since Genesis 3:24.
Let’s lead lives of lavish love, friends.