Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

A Church Too Busy to Pay Attention

To the angel of the church at Ephesus write … 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 ….  Revelation 2:1, 4-5

The first words of Jesus to the church at Ephesus recorded in Revelation 2:2-3 indicate a powerful church.

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 for My name's sake and have not become weary.

Every Christian who knew about the church at Ephesus must have marveled at her emotional fire and strength—her seeming greatness. The church at Ephesus appeared to have it all. She had members who were go-getters. They kept the church fired up. But go-getters are usually too self-confident and too busy to wait for and receive God’s leadership on what to do next.

Jesus commended the patience, enthusiasm, conservatism, and untiring efforts of the church at Ephesus. But he also knew that all their fiery works were of the flesh and not the Spirit. She had left her first love—the love of God filling their hearts.

Years before the warning of Jesus recorded in Revelation 2:4-5, the Apostle Paul had sent her a letter. Paul had exhorted the church to continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He reminded the believers of Ephesus to put off the old man and put on the new man which would have resulted in their being filled with the Spirit.

If the church at Ephesus had paid attention to the letter from Paul, she would not have reached the danger point of ceasing to exist because:

… the fruit of the Spirit is love … Galatians 5:22

Ephesus was full of talent, emotional fire and genuine conservatism, but she also was a church that was too busy to pay attention to guidance from the Lord.