“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. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The above passage speaks of the church of Ephesus. The former portion of the verses speak about the good works of the church, of the mighty deeds with which they perform for the Lord. Yet, as the portion ends, we see God judging them for a grave mistake – they have forsaken their first love. An often quoted verse from the Bible but how much thought have we actually given to it. As we read more from the Word, we realize the way God sees and the way we see things are so different. It’s no wonder that He says in Isaiah 55: 8, 9, that His ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours.
As a Christian, we consider works, labor, patience, spirit of discernment to be of so much importance, we would never have thought anything was lacking. But the Lord who sees and knows everything does not make judgments based on the outward appearance alone. He knew the heart and soul of the church and found them lacking in their first love.
God has placed so much importance to love that an entire chapter in the Bible is dedicated to this topic alone (1 Corinthians 13). This chapter goes on to speak about the different manifestations of the Holy Spirit – speaking in tongues, prophesying and so on. But it ends on an astounding note.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
It’s almost difficult to comprehend that you can have all these spiritual gifts and yet not have love. You can prophesy without love, you can speak in tongues without having love, you can give to the poor without having any love – the list goes on. But God sees the intentions of the hearts, He sees us for who we are. There can be nothing fake before him, a counterfeit Christian is not not who He needs. He needs His child to act out of love. Are you that one? Do you feel you have been running behind the wrong things and missed out on one of the most importance characteristic which God desires? Ask Him to fill you with love for Him and others.