Have you lost your enthusiasm?

JESUS SPEAKING

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says he who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.  And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored and have not become weary.  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 lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2: 1-5.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Before the last apostle John went to sleep (bodily death), he was given a revelation from God; the revelation was a communication between Jesus Christ and the seven churches in the first century.  In this passage, Jesus’ Christ was speaking to the church in Ephesus which is in Modern day turkey.  He addressed himself as the one who walks in the midst of the seven Golden Lampstands.  (The Jewish temple was a reflection of what was in heaven; within the earthly Jewish temple there were seven candles that gave light to the priests who were serving God in ‘The Holy Place.’  The temple in heaven also has a ‘Holy Place,’ with seven candles, but unlike its earthly reflection, there is only one priest in heaven; Jesus Christ is the great high priest.)  He told the Ephesian church the things they had done which were pleasing to him.  They had done works without growing weary and they had been patient.  They disliked evil and tested anyone who claimed to be from God!  Still, he found in them a great sin; they had left their first love.  When they first became believers, they had been living differently; they were probably more zealous, more faithful, and more eager to spread the message; he demanded that they return to that state or be removed from the church.

When a man courts a woman, he is filled with enthusiasm, wonderment, and excitement.  Most men pull out all the stops.  He spends quite a bit of money taking the woman out; maybe he buys her flowers or chocolates regularly.  He tells her how beautiful she is; he does everything he can to impress her, and eventually, he buys a ring and kneels down and asks her to spend the rest of her life with him.  After they marry, one of two things can happen.  The man and woman can continue in a deep enthusiastic love for one another, building upon the foundation that was laid down during the courting period; or they can begin to lose enthusiasm and excitement; the man may stop telling the woman how beautiful she is; he may stop doing kind things for her; he may begin to spend less time with her, and more time in front of the T.V.  The result is a marriage that has lost the love upon which it was founded; if that love does not return, then divorce is usually certain.

The Church in Ephesus had been founded upon a love for Jesus Christ, but that love had grown cold.  The early believers had been zealous, but began to cool off.  This same loss of enthusiasm can be seen in the church today.  Many are zealous when they begin following Jesus Christ, but over the years, they begin to get distracted.  Some marry, have kids, and begin to focus on saving for retirement rather than saving others.  Some start with God as the ‘main course,’ but slowly they make him in to a ‘side dish.’  As a person grows older, sometimes they grow colder.  Young believers are filled with an energy and idealism that supersedes many older people in the church.  Some of the older believers who have grown cold can see the young zealot as a threat; they see them as something that needs to be chained rather than unleashed.  The reason they seek to change the enthusiastic believer is because they are the ones who need to change; they need to repent; they need to return to Christ; they need to become more like the new believers.  Those who have lost their zeal must get it back.  Are you zealous for God today?  Is serving others a priority in your life, or do you prefer self-service?  Has your relationship with God grown cold, or are you still filled with love?  Do you seek to tell others about Jesus, or has your mouth become tired and quiet?  If you have lost the fire of God you can get it back.  Cry out to God, and ask him to renew his Spirit within you.  Give your heart back to Him, and be renewed, and you will remember the goodness and the strength of the eternal God living, breathing, and moving inside of your heart; and you will have returned to your first love.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask and pray that You renew our Spirits.  Give us the heart that we had when we first became Your followers.  Make us Zealous to do good works for You and for others.  May we yearn to speak to others about Your Son, and to reach out to the lost in love.  If we have lost the fire that once burned within our hearts, we ask that You ignite it once again. May we be on fire for you.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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