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Summary: It is time for the church to get back to its first love...

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June 14, 2015

Morning Worship

Text: Revelation 2:1-7

Subject: Complacency

Title: Reclaiming Your Passion for Christ

Do you have a passion? Maybe before you answer that question I should define the word for you.

Passion (from the Greek verb pascho meaning to suffer) is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.

Looking back at my own life I can see that in my early teen years I developed a passion for music. I had an old guitar and I was determined to learn how to play it. So nearly every spare moment I had you could have found me with my guitar in hand and my Mel Bay chord book in front of me learning how to play chords and then to play songs and sing along. It was something that was important to me and the fruit of it has stayed with me through my whole life. I must say that it isn’t the same passion that I had when I was young – yet it has stayed with me and I still enjoy it. That is why sometimes you could stop by the church and hear me practicing on the piano or the drums or the banjo or mandolin. But I am not consumed by it.

When I first started in construction I became passionate about carpenter work. I enjoyed it and wanted to be the best I could be at it. I worked hard at it and learned quickly.

Over the years my passion for the things of the past has wained. Those things are still important to me but they are not the number one focus of my life any longer.

The reason I am telling you these stories is that passion is something we all have I us. Whetehr it be a passion for family, work, hobbies, or whatever it may be, we all have or have had pasisons in our lives. And like my early passions they may have faded somewhat.

In the book of Revelation the Lord Jesus spoke some words to the churches in the province of Asia that have application to churches everywhere today. And I want to look at a couple of passages today that should get our attention.

Revelation 2:1-4,

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.

I believe this is God’s word…

I believe it is for me…

I accept it as mine…

I appropriate it to my life today…

Do you believe that the Lord wants you to be passionate in your relationship with Him? Let’s look to see what we can do to reclaim the passion.

The Lord begins the first of these letters to the churches – to the church in Ephesus – by listing the things that they are doing well…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.

Every one of those things is about what is expected of us in our Christian walk.

Ephesians 2:10,

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Colosians 3:23,

3Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…

Hebrews 10:36,

36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Romans 12:9,

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 John 4:1,

1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Can you say “AMEN!”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were all that was needed to maintain your walk with the Lord? Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus hadn’t said what He says next?

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

WOW!

In the world today among the Charismatic/Pentecostal church groups there are three movements afoot.

1. The Seeker friendly movement where the focus is getting people in the door by appealing to their senses. Good music (contemporary), good programs for all age groups and a gospel that doesn’t offend.

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