God is talking to John, passing out messages to give to key churches in the area (Revelation 2-3).
He tells John that the Ephesian Church is doing a bang-up job. They are keeping the faith, rising up to any challenge that presents itself.
He goes on to say, however, that they have lost their first love.
The longer you have been in ministry, the longer you have walked with Jesus, the easier it is the go through the motions. You’re living in a spiritual deficit, and if you’re like me and are paying off credit card debt, you can agree how easy to go through life looking just fine, but really digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.
Now, you may not feel like you are. You know all the spiritual buttons to hit and when to hit them. You take on greater and greater responsibilities in the church. You may live and breathe Christianity, be a scholar or a worship leader, an event organizer, social warrior, pastor, or elder, and yet still miss out on Christ being your first love.
It’s about passion and priorities. You can pass on everything else, but God knows the difference there.
It’s all about “first.” Seek ye first the kingdom of God, Jesus says (Matthew 6:33). Give Him your firstfruits. Think of the tithe: ten percent, such a small amount, less than we are asked to tip our server. The server needs your money to live, God doesn’t need anything. He created the Universe. He has more riches than quantifiable data can even fairly summarize. For God, it’s all about the heart.
You see, all the other stuff, it can easily get ostentatious, a game show if you will. Jesus speaks of the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44). Whereas many around her gave much, yet all for show, the widow gave little, but out a pure desire to worship the LORD.
Works build upon the foundation. Where the foundation is weak, the building crumbles. Where the foundation is strong, the building endures. Paul calls us God’s holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). A temple is a massive structure. A massive structure requires a massive foundation, or all of for not, lest the building fall (Matthew 7:24-27). I have seen spiritual buildings crumble too many times for me not to testify that this is true.
So the love the LORD your God with all your mind, all your heart, and all your strength (Leviticus 23:22). May your temple be high and wide, and your foundation deep. Seek Him first in all things.