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Summary: The message deals with 1. First Love, 2. Forgotten Love, 3. Remembered Love, 4. Rejuvenated Love.

First Love

Matthew 22:37; Romans 12:11; Rev. 2:4

1. First Love

Do you remember your first love? For some of you this morning like myself, it has been a number of years but I still think you can remember their name. You might remember the first kiss.

Do you remember what it was like? For one, you want to spend all your time with your first love. Every moment you had you wanted to be with that other person. They brought love to your life and it was wonderful to be in their presence. Some of us would do anything for them. Nothing was too much to ask, no amount was too big to spend, and no distance was too far. As the lyrics said to one of my favorite songs, "Ain¡¦t no mountain high enough, ain¡¦t no river wide enough to keep me from loving you." Life was great!

Our scripture this morning is in reference to a first love, Jesus. Revelation 2:4 says,

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

The church at Ephesus had one problem; they had forgotten Jesus, their first love. He had been left out of the equation for church. Other than that, they looked pretty good from the outside.

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. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Evidently they were about the business of church, worship, bible studies, and ministry to one another. They must have had a clear understanding of the gospel and doctrine because they tested the false teachers. Above all they had endured persecution and had been faithful to the end. I would say they resemble a lot of our churches today.

Our church has all the right ingredients as well. Good bible studies with sound teaching. We have good worship and every now and then a few "amen¡¦s" break out. Our ministry to the community is adequate; VBS, festivals, food closet, children¡¦s ministry, and other ministries design to help our community. It sounds familiar.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

2. Problem - Forgotten Love - Rev. 2:4

The problem they had at Ephesus was they "forgot their first love". There was no longer any fiery passion. It had long sense cooled to doing their duty according to the Word. They were doing all the right things but had no passion. They had become passion-less.

They had forgotten the absolute joy in knowing Jesus for the first time. They had forgotten the loved that we all experience at that moment of salvation when we realize Almighty God loves us so much. They had forgotten the lifting of sin from their shoulders to be replaced by forgiveness. They had forgotten the freedom we all experience in Christ. And sadly, they had forgotten Jesus and had turned their walk into obedience without love and joy, it was only duty.

What was it that caused the church to forget? It does not say. It may have been a matter of lost love or loss of passion over time. Like many marriages today, the fire that was there in the beginning becomes a flicker over time. Ignoring your love can cause that problem over time.

Maybe everything else took priority. The planning, the programming, the problems that we all encounter day to day can take our attention away so that we forget who it¡¦s all about, Jesus. The planning and programming for growth can consume pastor¡¦s to the point that we forget how simple the Lord has made it for us all, Love Him and Love others with everything we are and everything we have. It truly isn¡¦t rocket science but it is hard to live in a world that is lost.

It might be too many drainers in our life. You know who they are. They are always negative about life and always have something wrong with them and seem to love wallowing in their "suffering". They drain everyone around them because they do not wish to change. Too many drainers can suck the life from even the best believer.

The music/worship leader of a large church led fantastic worship services and choirs. Out of 800 people there were 200 in choir. Each Sunday morning he would receive a note from the same person. The note was always critical telling him where he had failed to lead worship. Imagine every Sunday, every Sunday night, every Wednesday night, every ministry you do with your own special drainer. He prayed that the Lord would change her heart but it didn¡¦t seem to happen and the notes kept coming. It went on for 6 years until she finally died.

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Mike Gilbert

commented on Dec 6, 2007

Excellent, always.

Daniel Yunan Tan

commented on Jun 13, 2008

Very useful .. Thanks

Kenneth Anderson

commented on Feb 5, 2013

great message. thanks for sharing it.

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