Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 06 March 2016
“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.
This letter is written to the church in Ephesus. Ephesus was a large city, the capital of that area.
It was a very important church. There is much that was good in this church, and the Lord praised them for it. But the Lord rebuked them for one thing that they departed from their first love, and He warned them that if they don’t return to their first love He will remove their candlestick from its place. It shows us the importance of the first love.
Remember how happy the children of Israel was for the manna from heaven, but after some time they began to grumble.
Do you remember when you first got converted, how nothing was too difficult or unbearable for you? But if you lose your first love the smallest thing becomes too much for you. Does that first love still burn in your heart? In fact it should not only be like the first love. Instead your love should now be greater, having grown and matured.
The Lord does thank the Ephesians for many things. He thanks them for hating evil. The love of God doesn’t just love everything. It’s a love that can hate evil! We need to learn what the love of God is really like. There are things to love and embrace and things to depart from. This love causes you to hate certain things too. And there are things we must love with a burning love. A person who doesn’t love what God loves should not be in God’s house.
The apostles John and Paul write that there are certain things that should not be found in the life of a Christian (Eph 5:3-7; 1John 1:5-6; 2:15-17). The love of God in your heart will not allow you to love sin.
Here in Revelations we read that we must hear what the Spirit says, and it’s important indeed. Jesus said that, “people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28-29). Therefore you can see for yourself how important it is to hear what the Spirit says. Each believer should take time to listen to the Holy Spirit, take time with the word of God. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all the truth (John 16:13).
Some speak a lot about the Holy Spirit but the sins of the flesh are prevalent among them. They show that they do not know Him.
When Ananias and Sapphira spoke to Peter, Peter listened with one ear to what they said but with the other ear to God. It’s dangerous to listen to a person without having an ear to hear what God says.
Does the Holy Spirit have His place in your life? Is he leading you? It should be so that the Holy Spirit is of great importance to you. Never take Him lightly but listen carefully to what He says. Pray that you may do God’s will, not that you simply do what’s pleasing to yourself.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
May no one forsake their first love towards Jesus. Let Jesus be first in your life. Let the Gospel come first, lest if you have all the other things but leave your first love there is a woe upon you.