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Summary: The church is being called on by the Holy Spirit to return to its first love! That first love is the Lord Jesus and it requires a change of direction on our part as Christians need to return to Him. Put Him in 1st place in their busy lives.

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Series: What is the Spirit saying to the church today?

The expression, "what the Spirit says to the churches" occurs in each of the seven letters to the particular churches in the book of Revelation. In these letters, Christ reminds these churches that he sees what is going on in their churches. He highlights spiritual success and addresses their spiritual failings to each community, and then He offers appropriate encouragement or rebuke. These are the last recorded words of Jesus in the Bible and remind us the church of today that we need to be doing what God has called us to do.

Sermon 1: Know the times

The Spirit today is saying to know the signs of the times and this will only happen in your life when you really know God’s Word and study it to recognize and discern His voice over the many false voices ringing out in this day. Jesus said, “My sheep will know my voice” John 10:14-18: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Sermon 2: Know and use your spiritual gifts

Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 tells us all to know our spiritual gifts and know how to use them for the common good of the church. We also need to know that we all have different gifts but this is God’s plan and it’s a good thing to have diversity. We also need to know that each one of us with our gifts is valuable to the spread of the Gospel in our society.

Sermon 3: Know if you are drifting away from Jesus - “Return to your first love!”

Thesis: The church is being called on by the Holy Spirit to return to its first love! That first love is the Lord Jesus and it requires a change of direction on our part as Christians need to return to Him. Put Him in 1st place in their busy lives.

Scriptures:

Matthew 22:37-38:

37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

38This is the first and greatest commandment.

John 14:15:

15“If you love me, you will obey what I command.

1 John 2:15:

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Revelation 2:1-7:

To the church in Ephesus

1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

2I 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.

4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Video Illustration from bluefishtv.com “David Nasser: From Islam to Jesus.”

Introduction:

When I found Jesus – I discovered this missing link in my life called love. I felt His love for me that day I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior –it poured over my soul and my life. It was tangible and life changing. So love became a subject that is near and dear to my heart. In my first year after becoming a Christian I studied about that one subject in the Bible and that subject was love. I was fascinated by the subject and drawn to it like a magnet because I felt unloved and clueless to what love looked like or acted like before in my life. Yet the Bible kept telling me that God was love and He loved me so much he sent His son to die for me. This revelation changed my angry heart. I learned that to be a Christian meant to act and be like Christ and the first description of Jesus was - He loved the Father and He loved God’s creation and part of that creation was me. So I did fall head and heels in love with Jesus and I threw my life into His arms. I have done so now for over 30 years. I guess what perplexes me about some people in Christianity is that they don’t stay faithful and true to the Jesus – their 1st love. They let the business of life and other idols to steal away from Jesus the love he deserves. I got saved with about 7 other guys and I watched over half of them turn their back on their first love Jesus. It was heart breaking – the guy who lead me to Jesus did that – I could not even imagine myself ever rejecting “Jesus” the one who showed me what love was and is.

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