Sunday service, Dietmar Joosten, 19 Mar 2017
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 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. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
We love the topic of love: the love of the Lord and of God’s children but don’t grasp the depth of God’s love and what it means in our lives. God our Father cares for us and wants the best for us. The Bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) Doesn’t a father feel anything when he sees his only son suffer and being killed? Do you think it was easy for our heavenly Father to see his Son suffer in this wicked world? Don’t you think He sometimes had to turn away? Just think about it; that He gave us His only Son. Do you think it is right that we take it so lightly? But we have got used to it.
The question is, is the way we come to church and present ourselves before the Lord right? The Lord Jesus walks amongst His church. He wants to purify us and use us. Is it not wonderful to think that He works through His Spirit. I was reminded of David in Ps 132:13 “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place” He wants to be amongst His people. He says, “That will be my resting place.” This is God’s desire, and His love for His people. What lives shouldn’t we then live? Should anything be too difficult for us to do for Him?
The Lord mentions things that displeases Him about this church in Ephesus. So too He knows the details of your life. Maybe you don’t tolerate certain people and you are hiding things in your heart. You might have discernment regarding people and know when something isn’t of the Lord. Maybe you haven’t fainted or grown weary. But what is it like today? Remember your calling in the Lord. Are you making your own decisions?
Remember how you used to share the Gospel with others. When you harvested, you remembered that your neighbor didn’t have and you shared. But today you don’t share because you say that your neighbour is lazy. Do not love the world or the things of the world because then the love of the Father isn’t in you. Sin enters like a little fox, it destroys God’s love. It starts unnoticed. At first you might tolerate a wrong attitude towards another person. If you have a wrong attitude, you are on the wrong side. What is your attitude to the least?
What is the relationship between you and your wife? Much evil starts at home. Often the wife sits on her husband’s head. Moody said that the wife can be like a noose around her husband’s neck and turn him against God.
The Lord said to Peter, do you love me? Today the Lord is saying to you, “Remember and go back to your first love.” You know what you should do but most Christians don’t do it. If there is sin you remember, repent from it. See how detestable your sin is, and do what God expects of you. God is warning you. Remember the heights from which you have fallen and do the first works or else He will visit you and remove your lampstand.
May God help us that when He visits us, He will find that first love burning in our lives.
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