Monday 17th July 2017

Revelation 2: 1- 7 (NKJV)

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

Jesus’ message to the Christians at Ephesus shows that God keeps details of our relationship with and service for Him.  God was pleased with their hard work and patience, their faith, their intolerance of sin, and for identifying and keeping away from those who claimed they were apostles but were not, as well as their willingness to suffer for Christ.  Unfortunately, despite all their good works, they had left their first love.  They prioritised their work for God, over their relationship with Him.

God calls us first into a relationship with Him, and all we do for Him ought to flow from that relationship.  Unfortunately, we value what we do for God more than God Himself.  Jesus called the disciples that they might be with Him (Mark 3: 14), before He sent them out to preach, teach, heal and deliver oppressed people.  Just as with the Ephesian Christians, God will see a lot to commend about our work in Church, but it is likely, given the state of the Church, that He will also rebuke us for neglecting our relationship with Him.  Today’s devotional is a reminder that the depth of our personal relationship with God, not our service, is the highest expression of our love for Him.

Prayer: Lord please take me back to the old paths, I don’t want to loose you.