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Summary: We incur certain liabilities when our relationship to Jesus is eclipsed by technique. Part 2 of a 3 part sermon.

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WHEN TECHNIQUE ECLIPSES RELATIONSHIP-II—Revelation 2:1-7

Firstless Love

A man who spends all his time at work—Neglecting his family in order to do it—Forgetting that his initial drive for the work is to meet his family’s need.

Jesus reprimanded the Ephesian church because their first love for Jesus had taken second place & lapsed into technique/maintenance.

The local church must prevent her relationship with Jesus from lapsing into a technique.

What occurs when technique overshadows relationship?

Liabilities of a relationship that is eclipsed by technique.

When technique eclipses relationship our...

1. ANGEL is Liable(:1)

2. WORK is Liable(:2a & 3)

3. STANDARD is Liable(:2b)

4—When technique eclipses relationship

Our JOY is Liable(:4)

—Explanation:(:4) Newness

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

“Left your first love”—Zeal—Regardless of circumstances.

—Argumentation:

Ps. 51:12-13—“Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, And sinners will be converted to Thee.”

Jer. 2:2—“Go & proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.”

Lam. 3:22-23—“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.”

Ps. 40:2-3—“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see & fear, And will trust in the LORD.”

—Illustration:

Our visits to family in NC/Try to get as many visits in as possible/Attempts to see family(Technique) rob us of the JOY/Liable

—Application:

?Our JOY fallen prey to technique rather than relationship?

?Your technique eclipsed your relationship with Jesus?

5—When technique eclipses relationship

Our DISTANCE is Liable(:5a)

—Explanation:(:5a) Deviation/Stray

“‘Remember therefore from where you have fallen, & repent & do the deeds you did at first;...”

“Remember”—Recollection of a former state.

“Fallen”—Descent from higher to lower position.

Heb. 2:1—“For this reason[Jesus is God in flesh] we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

“Repent”—metanoew—Conscious change of choice regarding life’s direction & purpose.

“Do the deeds you did at first”—

“Do”—poiew—Make, Construct, Render, Cause, Perform

?What were our first deeds?

God did not create the gap, so we must close the gap!

—Argumentation:

Isa. 59:1-2—“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you & your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.”

Isa. 64:6—“...Our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

Isa. 53:6—“All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”

Lk. 15:4 & 7—“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep & has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, & go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?...I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

—Illustration:

Family Recipe/Unintentional & Subtle changes creep in thru years—originator dead/Not same taste/Distance from original obvious/Our Originator(Jesus) ‘dies’ when our communication & repentance dies/DISTANCE increased

Married bliss soon becomes lost in monotony of self-instilled responsibility/We allow them to rob us of our ability to be attractive, romantic, caring—loving/DISTANCEd from our first love

My call to pastoral ministry/First love is Jesus/If family had held me back, where would we all be?/DISTANCEd from Jesus.

Driving/Map determines proximity to destination/Always in focus/Strange territory/DISTANCE Liable

—Application:

?Our DISTANCE fallen prey to technique rather than relationship?

?Your technique eclipsed your relationship with Jesus?

6—When technique eclipses relationship

Our INFLUENCE is Liable(:5b)

—Explanation:(:5b) Consequence/Placement/Position

“...or else I am coming to you, & will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.”

“I am coming to you”—Purpose for Judgment

“Remove”—Directly or Gradually

—Argumentation:

Mat. 5:13-16—“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out & trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do men light a lamp, & put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; & it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, & glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

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