The Love You Had At First

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first”
- Revelation 2:2-3
The book of Revelation includes letters to seven churches in Asia, and the first letter that’s written is addressed to the church at Ephesus. The Lord tells the church that He’s seen their good deeds. He’s seen how they have persevered in the fight against immorality and how they have not grown weary in good conduct, but there’s one problem: they have lost the love they had at first. Some translations read, “You have lost your first love.”

Have you ever been in a restaurant and noticed the different dynamic between couples? Sometimes it’s easy to spot the ones who have been together longer than others. The couples who are still in the “honeymoon” stage are usually oblivious to anything else around them because they’re so focused on each other. They hardly break eye contact.

Then, there are the couples who’ve been together quite a while, and they’re either found with their noses in their phones or looking idly around the restaurant for something of more interest. They’re bored. It doesn’t mean they aren’t in love, but they’ve lost the flame they had at first.

There’s a great danger in familiarity.

We have to be intentional in our relationship with the Father. Newborn Christians are often the most excited and zealous of the bunch because they’re so in love with God. They find that spark and they explode like fireworks. Too often, this exuberance fades as we get older. For people who have been in a relationship with the Lord for 20, 40, 50 years—that passion they had at the beginning withers. We get comfortable and familiar and bored.

As His church, we can serve; we can sacrifice; we can expose the hidden works of darkness and work our fingers to the bone for the sake of Christ, but when the motivation is wrong, what does it matter?

Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that He sees their devotion, but even in their service, sin has found its way into their hearts. How? Through the pride of life. Sin enters us in three ways: the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). The church of Ephesus is an upstanding church—they’ve conquered the lust of the flesh and eyes, but they have fallen by their own pride.

Have we become so religiously pious that we perform good works for our own bragging rights? Perhaps we are so busy doing what we think should be done that we’ve lost our flame. Jesus is sitting across the table from us, waiting for us to make eye contact again.

Good works are necessary, but without our first love, they count for nothing.

Don’t let the flame die.

Don’t lose the love you had at first.

Let our relationship with Jesus be like the couples who even after 50 years of marriage, the spark remains, and it only gets sweeter.

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Jeannette - January 18th, 2022 at 7:46am

Thank you for the daily devotional. Love that the Word is given and explained. To many devotions are short stories of others everyday life. Nothing wrong with reading but Gods word is needed more. I am an older Christian (62). Gods word still hits me as if I was 18 again. There’s still a lot to learn. We’ll have a blessed day. And thank you again. 👍🏻👊🏼

Loren Meza - January 18th, 2022 at 10:08am

Thank you for this devotional, I am younger but it resonates with my everyday relationship with God. Have a blessed day!

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