I remember as a thirteen year old boy responding to the call of Christ. I say “called” to Christ because the verse that stimulated me to become a Christian was “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). A sweetness, freshness, and peacefulness permeated my relationship with Jesus during those first days of my Christian life. I remember revival meetings at our church, youth group meetings full of singing and praise and personal testimonies. I read my Bible daily and climbed out of my bed each night when I thought my brother had fallen asleep to pray on my knees. My love for Jesus changed my life and who I was as a person. Yet, I allowed some stupid things to impact my life resulting in deep complicating fears. Subsequently, I lost my first love.
The same thing happened to the Ephesian Christians in the first century. In Revelations 2, the Apostle John wrote this about them, 4 You have left your first love. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
I read in the book of Acts mighty, wonderful things happened to the Ephesians.
- Acts 19 19 A number (of Ephesians) who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” Amazing, exhilarating testimonies occurred within the Ephesian Christians!
- Paul the Apostle himself spent three years with them. Notice the intimacy that the Ephesians experienced with Paul recorded in Acts, 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. 32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified…36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.” What intimacy was experienced within the relationship of Paul the Apostle and Ephesians for three years!
- Paul saluted the Ephesians in the last two verses in his letter to them, Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
So, what happened? Ephesians were much like us. They got caught up in the things of the world and the deceptions of the devil losing the sweetness and freshness of fellowship with Jesus. They went back to their old fleshly ways no longer placing Jesus first in their lives.
Never forget that Revelations 3:20 is a call to Christians who have “lost their first love”, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Go back to what you did when you first became a believer. Open the door of your heart inviting Jesus to come back in as your Lord and Savior starting a fresh new journey with Him. Place Him first, live in obedience, enjoy fellowship with Him, and your life will change.