Following Jesus 89

Churches in general, and followers of Jesus in particular, may leave their love for God for one of the following: 
  • Silver. Money. I Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 37:7, 17; Proverbs 23:4-5. 
  • Sloth; A lazy love and longing to be entertained. Proverbs 13:4; Colossians 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Perhaps through drugs, alcohol, the media, games, etc. 
  • Sexual Immorality. I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Corinthians 6:15-20. 
  • Selfishness. A love of self. Philippians 2:3; James 3:14-18. 
How should the church respond to such an incitement? Revelation 2:5 and 7 give us four answers.
First, the church must remember. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen."
Second, it must repent. “Repent, and do the works you did at first.”
Thirdly, it must recognize God’s warning of God’s impending judgment for refusing to repent. “If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” The Lord will remove the influence a church once had in sharing and living out the gospel. It may have open doors, programs, pastors and parishioners, but it will be non-influential within its city and culture. 
Finally a church receive these directives with open hearts and minds. It must listen. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” To those church which are victorious in their efforts to maintain their first love for God, there will be eternal blessings. 
Talking Points
  1. In what area in your life, are you tempted to leave your first love for Jesus and pursue another love? Is it a love for money, sloth, sex or self? 
  2. Are you willing to remember what Jesus Christ did for you, to repent of your sin, to realize God’s impending judgment for the unrepentant and to listen to His Word? 

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