Summary: To encourage believers to keep their first love alive and viberant
A. John had been banished to the Island of Patmos and while there he was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit while worshiping God.
a. Being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit he was shown things which must shortly take place.
b. I do not have time to elaborate on those things but only mention them in the beginning of this message as John mentions them in the beginning of his.
c. Before showing John the things which must shortly take place he saw a vision of the risen Lord.
d. In that vision he saw seven golden candle sticks which represents the seven ages or dispensations of the church age.
e. John was then given a message to each of these seven churches.
f. It is to the first message that I called your attention too and especially verse 4 where the risen Lord told the church of Ephesus that He had something against them because, “you have left your first love.”
B. I am not going to speak to you about leaving anything but call your attention to two words from that charge against this church.
a. Those two words are first love.
b. Love is defined as a deep affection for someone or something.
1. It also carries the thought of being attached to and devoted to that person or something.
c. The situation before us it is love to and from God that the Risen Savior is talking about.
d. It is a love that no human love can compare with.
e. I want to note with you some things about first love.
I. What is first love?
A. To understand this we need to look at the word first.
a. First means, preceding all others, ranking before and above all others, foremost, before any other person or thing.
b. Thus the word first carries the thought of nothing before.
B. In Genesis 1:1 we read these words, “In the beginning God.
a. This suggests that God is first that there is nothing or anyone before Him.
b. Then in I John 4:8 we read where John says God is love.
c. Now if there is no one or anything before God and God is love then love is first.
d. Thus John is talking about God’s love as first.
C. This means God loved us first and that these people at one time loved God first that is more than anyone or anything.
1. First love comes from God for it is He who loved us first.
a. In one of the old hymn books is a song that talks about:
b. The grandest theme thro’ the ages sung the
grandest theme for a mortal tongue tis the
grandest thing that the world e’er sung.
b. I say to you the grandest theme in God’s entire domain is His unfathomable, indescribable, un-matchless love.
c. This is the love John calls first love.
D. But what John is really talking about is the leaving of the love they had for God through Jesus Christ.
a. This love came when one created a relationship with Jesus through repentance of sin.
b. At first there was nothing to compare with the love they had with this creation.
c. But something happened and love faded into the background thus the first love was gone.
d. Maintaining anything is important, for to neglect anything it will soon fade away.
e. Our love for God and His love for us is the most important thing we have and should be maintained at all cost.
E. Notice John said they had, “left their first love”
a. Now whether the leaving of first love was intentional or unintentional they left it and consequently lost it.
b. They could have gotten so involved in church work doing the things that are right and just drifted away no one knows.
c. The point I am trying to make is that we need to be careful lest we become too busy that we leave our first love which is God’s love for us and our love to Him.
II. LOVE IS A RELATIONSHIP
A. It is not just a relationship but real love in an intimate relationship.
a. The word intimate carries the thought of close deep and private relationship.
b. It is a personal relationship that no one or nothing else shares or has any part in or of.
c. This intimate relationship I am talking about becomes deeper and more precious as time goes by.
B. God wants to have and share an intimate relationship with you and me.
a. The kind of relationship God wants with each of us is suggested to us in Revelation 3:20 where He tells the church at Laodicea that He stands at the door and knocks and promises that if anyone would open the door He would come in and dine with them and they could dine with Him.