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Summary: Ephesus had been a great church, but now it had lost it's first love for Jesus. If it happened to them, how can we make sure it doesn't happen to us?

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OPEN: Someone once asked a bunch of elementary aged children what they thought about love.

Glenn, age 7: If falling love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.

Regina, age 10 agrees: I’m not rushing into love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.

Angie, age 10: Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one.

Dave, age 8: Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.

Manuel, age 8: I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be painful.

ILLUS: Some recent studies tell us that when a person is in love, their brain lights up.

When you're in love, your eyes light up, your face lights up - and apparently, so do 4 tiny bits of your brain. According to Andreas Bartels, a research fellow at University College London: It is the common denominator of romantic love.

When test subjects were shown photographs of their sweethearts… certain areas of their brain just lit up – which means there’s a higher flow of blood going to that part of the brain.

These "love spots" were near, but not the same as, sections that become active when someone is feeling simple lust. And - in addition - looking at these pictures of their sweethearts also reduced activity in 3 larger areas that are active when people are upset or depressed.

(Janet McConnaughey R.Digest 9/01)

APPLY: In the text we’re looking at this morning, Jesus is SCOLDING the church at Ephesus.

They’ve lost something.

What have they lost? (Their First Love)

And Jesus rebukes them for it.

"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5

It’s like Jesus is telling them there’s certain parts of brains that don’t light up like they used to.

But how did that happen? How did they lose their first love for Jesus? Was it kinda like when you lose your keys or your TV remote? I mean - did they just misplace Jesus somewhere along the line? Well yes… and no.

I’ve known people (and whole churches) that have lost their first love for Jesus. But they didn’t wake one morning and say “I’m going to walk away from Jesus today.” If they gave any thought to it at all - if they even realized it had happened - they might say that their love for Him was just missing. They’d say it feels like they’ve MISPLACED that love and they just don’t know where it went.

But that’s not actually what happens.

They don’t MIS-place Jesus… they RE-place Jesus.

It’s kind of like a man who loses his love for his wife - and runs off with another woman. Most adulterers don’t set out to do that. They don’t just wake up one day and say “Hey, I think I’ll leave my wife today.”


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Richard John Hayton

commented on Apr 1, 2017

Dear Jeff. I have been a pastor of a Baptist church in England for more than 20 years. I regularly find that it is the sermons you submit that help to inspire me most often. Thank you for this one too. I have most recently been preaching a series on different prodigals, currently on "The Prodigal Church" using the letters in Revelation as the base. Thank you for what you do it is most appreciated.

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