Remember, Repent, and Return

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:4

Sometimes relationships between people, even between nations, end suddenly because of a single overt act. But most of the time they end slowly. A gradual series of disappointments and unmet expectations produces a downward spiral. Or, as the saying goes, “Death by a thousand paper cuts.” What had been tolerated before now becomes inescapable: The original priorities that led to peace have changed.

When Christ sent His words of evaluation to the church in Ephesus, He commended them for some good things. But more important than His commendations was this searing condemnation: “You have left your first love.” He meant their love for God through their intimacy with Christ Himself. When and how did the Ephesian Christians’ love for Christ begin to grow cold? We can’t say, but we know it did.

What can rekindle love gone cold? Look back to the beginning. Reestablish the practices that created passion for Christ in the beginning: prayer, fellowship, worship, obedience. Love can grow cold almost unconsciously, but it can be rebuilt by conscious choices and practices. Remember, repent, and return to your first love (Revelation 2:5).

True love for Christ will mean hatred of sin. John Benton

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