“You Don’t Love Me Like You Used to”

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Have you ever been locked in a love that was tired, beaten down and worn out?  The complaint from God through John in the Book of Revelation is that the church at Ephesus has lost the love it once had for God.  The church is still doing a good work in the name of Jesus, but the passion has evaporated like the mist of the morning.

In like manner, sometimes individuals can become functional in their love: they take out the trash, make up the bed, cook dinner, cut the grass, pay their bills, but the heart and head are emotionally disconnected.

God reveals through John that the expectation from on high is that the church renew its drive, passion and fervor for promoting the good news of Jesus Christ.  I think there are several ways a church can renew its passion for the Lord.

First, reclaim the joy of reading scripture together, singing the songs of the faith, and engaging in mission.

Second, the church must actively celebrate evangelism by encouraging its members to share the good news of the faith, the church and its mission.

Third, the church should always check its love quotient by asking itself, are we loving the way the Lord has call us to love one another.

Listen to the way the Lord chastised the church at Ephesus:

Revelation 2: 2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:

“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God. [1]

 

As we focus our attention on the fourth verse I encourage you to search your soul and ask the following question:  “Am I loving the way the lord would have me to love?

 

Revelation 2: But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.[2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about a church that has abandoned the love it first had for God?
  2. How can people renew, reestablish and rekindle a love they once had?

 

Prayer:

Lord, bring back the fire.  Help me not to become tired and complacent in my spirituality.  Make me zealous to tell the world about your salvation.  Build a fire within my soul that I might preach to others as though their lives and mind depend upon your mercy.  Help me never to become so predictable and satisfied with routine that I lose the passion to go to the ends of the earth for you.  Speak to me. Guide me.  Encourage me to love you today like I first loved you.  Teach me to love my family, friends and even the stranger as though today is the first and last day of  life.  Make me a better Christian.  Make me a better person.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

Nicholas Hood III Ministries info at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 2:1–7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 2:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.