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What's love got to do with it?

Revelation 2:4-5

  “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from this place- unless you repent.” The Lord gives us a huge clue here about leaving our first love. First, however, we must establish what the condition was surrounding these words spoken by the Lord. This address was directed toward the church at Ephesus who, for all intents and purposes appeared to have a highly successful ministry. They corrected whom they needed to, tested whom they needed to, persevered, labored, and not become weary. Yet the Lord states that they had abandoned their first love. What He meant was that they were ministering out of occupation and compulsion, not love. Then the Lord offers an astounding remedy to this “lack of love” problem. He says, “Remember ….. from where you have fallen, repent, and do the first works.” Why is remembering the answer to loving? In a phrase, we turn again to the words of our savior, Jesus Christ- Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” {Luke 7:47}. The first segment is that when we realize how much we ourselves have been forgiven from, we are enabled to love others much. It is only when we do not realize how bad we were that we become arrogant and self-righteous. This is precisely whey allowing ourselves to make excuses or blame others for our behavior and bad decisions is so dangerous. When we do that, we see no need in ourselves to be forgiven and therefore cannot manifest love. If them, we cannot manifest love, we cannot fulfill the law and we are subject to the law. We DO NOT WANT TO BE SUBJECT TO THE LAW! The second stage is to repent- but of what, in particular are we repenting? We are repenting for breaking the law by operating from the flesh and not from love- which is the Spirit of God. Third, we are commissioned to do the “first works” what are the "first works”? Paul says in Hebrews 6:1-2 that the elementary principles of Christ are; teaching repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. "1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary [principles] of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” When we first became a Christian, we were so excited, we wanted to tell everyone, and love everyone by our actions. We truly wanted to help them…. This is where we start from again when we have ministered from a place in the flesh and not out of love. To summarize, here is the solution prescribed by our Lord Jesus when we find ourselves doing what we are commanded but out of the wrong motivation:

  1. Remember what He delivered us from

  2. Repent from operating in our own strength, in our flesh.

  3. Go back to loving people by spreading the gospel and healing them

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