“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4
So, what was really the problem with the church at Ephesus? Everybody seems to agree that they had stopped loving the Lord as they ought to have been loving Him; yet, we are sort of stuck at the question: What might it look like to not love the Lord like we ought to be? As Dr. Phil likes to say, we need to put verbs in our sentences.
I suppose most people remember when we first fell in love with our spouses, and the almost giddy desire we felt to be with them, court them and please them. I think in most cases, our live sort of revolved around them. Sadly, most of us also know how that usually works out over some years; the devotion becomes less and less until sometimes we are just going through the motions with our spouses. We have lost that first love.
Now, how many of us know believers like that? Folks who were almost giddy with glee and anticipation about the new relationship they had found, only to slide into apathy and disinterest in a few years? I am pretty sure we all know folks like that; we may have BEEN folks like that in our own lives.
Now, it may seem odd to raise this; because after all, wasn’t the Lord just commending this church for being so hardworking? Yes, He was. Friends, it’s just a truth that most of the work, in most churches, is done by a few people. A local assembly of believers can have a wonderful reputation for being a hard-working church, and yet that work is getting done by the efforts of a minority.
That’s just not a sustainable model for the local church. I don’t care how enthusiastic the hard workers are, eventually they either tire, get too old, or die. We have churches today full of people who honestly think coming to preaching for an hour a week constitutes sacrificial service to our Lord. Yet, outside of that, they have no interest in anything else. They want to get fed for an hour by the preacher but have no interest in providing spiritual nutrition to the lost and dying world around them. They have lost their love for the Lord Jesus and His people.
Tell your spouse this; I dare you: Tell them you still love them, but the only time you are going to come around is for supper. See how that goes.