Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which 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 this place.
Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
Happy New Year, Everyone! Welcome to the first Sunday Morning Word post of 2016. Today’s poem, performed by Mariah Ivey, is entitled “Passion for Christ,” and it asks the question: What is your passion? Is it for you, or is it for Him?
When we were first saved, there was no doubt about our passion for Christ. We studied the Word, we preached the Gospel to any and all who would listen, we shared our testimonies, we prayed and fasted, we used our gifts to do His Will. The same can be said about the Church of Ephesus in Revelation. In His commendation, Jesus tells them:
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have preserved and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. (Revelation 2:2-3)
However, somewhere, something changed. We got too complacent. We received one too many praises from others, became proud, and forgot who truly deserves the praise. We began to dip our toes into the secular world under the guise that we simply wanted to attract more people to our doors, but in the process, we lost sight of God. We fell into the habit of tradition, following the ritual of “church” and “religion” as the Sadducees and Pharisees, with whom Jesus was often in conflict, had done in the Gospel texts.
We lost our passion for Christ. We forgot our first love.
But thank God we have a loving, merciful, and forgiving God. We might have wandered away from him, but He never wanders from us. Jesus told the Church of Ephesus, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). All you have to do is repent and turn away from all that is ungodly, return to the things you used to do when you were first saved, and there you will find paradise.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).