Many years ago, long before I had ever studied Revelation, the last book of the Bible, I was experiencing Jesus’ words of concern to the church in Ephesus.
You see, my marriage was actually failing. Though I could see some signs, I clung to hope that things would improve.
We attended churches, but their liberal teachings were a far cry from my past experience. Consequently, my first love, the Lord Jesus, was taking a back seat to trying to please my spouse and others.
My personal devotion was slipping. Even a visit from one of these pastors confirmed I could never be happy under his teaching.
One Sunday evening while strolling through a park, I heard the familiar sounds of music that drew me like a moth to the light. A vesper service was taking place in the beautiful outdoors and the songs, God’s Word and the pastor’s brief reflection convinced me that it was time to come home.
In Revelation 2: 2-3 NKJV, Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for the many good things about their lives. However, he then says in verse 4, “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Decline is insidious and sneaks up on you gradually. What was once central in your life is unperceptively nudged back as other thoughts and attitudes slip in and crowd truth out. Or even good things can take over what is best.
But the beauty in Revelation is that though Jesus gives warning to examine what has happened so discipline doesn’t result; he wants us back. He calls us to remember, repent (change our direction) and return to our former ways.
We changed churches, I made godly friends and attended a ladies Bible study. Joy replaced the heaviness and sighing I had been feeling and allowing to cloud my days.
Even though my first marriage did eventually fail, my renewed relationship with the Lord helped see me through because he was my strength and hope.
When we get side-tracked and lose our central focus, remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 also as he teaches us not to be consumed with our own needs. He reminds us that our heavenly Father knows our needs.
Then he concludes in verse 33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
So, if you’ve gotten off the beaten track, you just need to pause and take these steps. Remember, repent and redo. A simple, profound and loving solution from our wonderful Savior. Selah