Summary: A sermon preached to try to inspire the church to not only do things that are Christ-like but to do them for Christ, because He is our first love.
Show a video title "Who Is God?" (i have this so email me if you want to use it.)
Reading of the Text: Revealtion 2:2-5
In the scripture text, Jesus is telling the church of Ephesus that they are doing a lot of great things. They have worked hard, and have perservered. They have a hard time tolerating the wicked, and have tested those that have claimed to be apostles but weren’t. They had endured many hardships for Jesus’ sake. Yet there was one thing that was held against them; they had forgotten their first love.
It is hard to say what had caused them to lose their first love. It could have been that they had just gotten so wrapped up in their rituals, that they had lost touch with why they were really doing the things they were doing.
As a preacher, I have found three things that I believe have caused us to lose our first love.
Reason #1 Pride
As a society we are to proud to admit that we need anything. We have the mentality that we can do it alone, we are all that we need. We have taken Philipians 4:13 and have just used the first of the scripture in which it says, "I can do all things," and we have left out the most important part in which it says "through Christ who gives me strenght." We are the most powerful country in the world, yet we have forgotten how we brought us to where we are. We have got to check our pride at the door.
Proverbs 16:18 tells us "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Reason #2 Fear
I think this is the area of my life in which I need to improve. I am to afraid of what others think of me. Sure we could go and witness to a lost family member, but we don’t because we are to afraid of being uncomfortable. We could do make a more solid commitment to God and do more to build up His kingdom, but with a larger commitment comes more responsiblity and the possiblity of being labeled as a religous fanatic. The church as a whole could do so much if we would just stop being afraid of offending someone or being afraid that they will think badly of us.
Isaiah 51:7 tells us "Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.
Reason #3 Selfishness
The third main reason we have lost our first love is selfishness. It is simple, we could be doing more for God, but I just don’t want to. If we did that we would have to step outside of our routine, we may have to miss a ball game once in a while, we may have to get to bed a little later than normal or wake a few minutes earlier. We live in a ME first society, but we are told repeatedly in God’s word that we are to be servants. The greatest act of unselfishness is when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.
In Mark 9:35 scripture tells us, Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
Jesus made it pretty cut and dry there by telling his disciples to serve others and to basically leave their egos at home. What a concept for the church today. At the church where I serve Globe Christian Church our slogan is "We serve God by Serving Others."
We have got to become last in order to become first.
As the video shows, we live in a world that is confused about who God really is. They have preconceived notions that God either is some grandfatherly figure that is setting on a cloud or just something that we have made up just to have something to feel good about. People watch a video like this and ask themselves "Why has this happened?"
We need to take a long look in the mirror, because we are the reason that people are so confused about God. We have gotten away from finding joy in God, from finding hope in him. We are finding it so many other things, we feel good because we tithe, or we serve on a church board or committe. People see us feeling good about the things that we are doing, yet for the most part they are seeing us as hypocrites, or people who are phony. We have got to get to a point where we are doing the things that we do because we love God, and because we honestly yearn to please him, not so that others will pat us on the back.