Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 2:1-7 ~ The Serious Business of Love

on April 1, 2014

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of Him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.  This letter is not from John, but right from the mouth of Jesus–the one who died for the church, the one who holds the church in His hand and walks among them.

I KNOW YOUR WORKS, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.  I KNOW you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake and you have not grown weary.  “I know…” is both comforting and convicting.  Jesus sees our works–the good, the bad and the ugly.  He also knows the heart behind our actions.  “I  know your works!” How often do I long to hear that from someone?!  When I am toiling and it seems like no one sees or appreciates…God knows!  God also knows if I am doing it out of love or duty–caring for my home, loving my husband, meeting the needs of my children, leading ladies’ Bible study, making Keynote slides for Sunday morning, cleaning the church, preparing a meal for community group or a new mom, etc…

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had AT FIRST. REMEMBER therefore from where you have fallen; REPENT, and do the works you did AT FIRST. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you REPENT.  Jesus did not call us to works; He called us to love.  The first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Therefore anything less than love is sin.  We can choose to keep moving forward in loveless actions or repent and do the work of love and do works out of love!  Love is very serious business to God.  

REMEMBERING LEADS TO REPENTANCE AND RESTORED LOVE! I can remember when I was first dating my husband, and  I was constantly trying to display my love through cooking and cleaning abilities.  Or when my babies were first born and I loved changing and feeding them and washing their tiny clothes.  Or when I was first saved, and I boldly confessed my love for the Lord to anyone who would listen and followed Him in obedience no matter how silly the call seemed.  Or when we started the church, and no task felt like a burden but a blessing.  Somewhere along the way, actions become just actions, not necessarily motivated by love.  This morning, remembering those first loving feelings showed me how far I have fallen.  After some tears of repentance, I am filled with fresh love!

Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate (notice they hate the works not the people!). He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I WILL GRANT TO EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE, WHICH IS IN THE PARADISE OF GOD.  Works without love leaves us feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied; doing our lives separated from the presence and power of God.  A loving life is rewarded by God Himself with refreshment, fulfillment and satisfaction in His presence!

Lord, restore in me a heart of love.  Help me to love well!


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