READ : Revelation 2:1-7
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (v. 4)
Seven letters to seven churches scattered across western Asia Minor. The writer is John, in exile on the island of Patmos (1:9), but the author is the risen Lord himself. Christ holds his church, he stands with his church, he knows his church (vv. 1-2), and he has something to say to his church that we very much need to hear.
The first letter is to Ephesus, the most famous church in the most important city of all the seven. Ephesus was the site of the apostle Paul’s longest ministry (see Acts 19). Later Paul placed Timothy in charge of the church there (1 Timothy 1:3) and eventually, according to early Christian tradition, John himself took over. No church has ever been blessed with greater leadership. And the Ephesian Christians learned well from their leaders. They demonstrated many of the strengths that churches need. They were faithful to the truth and stood squarely against both doctrinal error and moral compromise (vv. 2, 6).
There was just this one problem: their love had grown cold. They had lost their first love, both for the Lord and for people (v. 4). Theirs was the fundamental flaw sometimes seen in conservative churches: a harsh and cold orthodoxy.
Lord, remind us that without love, we amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).