When We Leave Our First Love

William C. Brownson

READ : Revelation 2:1-7

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. (v. 4)

The Lord and his servant John saw much to commend in the church at Ephesus. These
believers had worked hard for the Lord and shown endurance under stress. They were
vigorous in church discipline. For the sake of the Lord’s name, they had carried on and
not grown weary.

But the church had a fatal flaw. They had left their first love, had abandoned the
single-hearted devotion of earlier days. This called for urgent, immediate action. They
needed to remember what they had lost, to repent, and to do again the first works of love.
Apparently, nothing could take the place of this. Their future as a church depended on
this returning. Jesus warned that if they failed to repent, he would come and “remove
their lampstand.” The lampstand, we learn from Revelation 1:20, is the church itself. In
other words, without this repentance and restoration of love, the church in Ephesus would
cease to exist! Imagine that!

Reflect for a moment. Ephesus is in present-day Turkey. This area, once full of
churches, now has almost none. North Africa too was once a thriving center of Christian
life, but no longer. And think of Europe’s history of great churches. Many of those have
ceased to be. Is something like this beginning to happen in America? What a call to
repent, to return, to love again!


Lord, let us see that when we cease to love fervently, repentance is our only