Reflections on Revelation #38

Day 38

“Therefore, REMEMBER from where you have fallen, and REPENT, AND DO THE DEEDS YOU DID AT FIRST; or else I am coming to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But you have this, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” Rev 2:5-6 NASB.

Given Jesus’ analysis of the Ephesus church, what counsel would He offer to them? The first thing He says is “remember.” In the original this is a present imperative. This means that they have not forgotten their former level of relationship with God. The church needs to internalize the sense of loss, to be motivated by the fact that they are in decline.

The next thing He tells them to do is to repent. The form of this word is different, it reflects a one-time action. Here He is commanding them to get started. Their repentance is to be a one-time decisive turn-around. While the church is used to remembering, it is not used to repenting. It needs a fresh start. It needs to bring its actions in line with its intentions.

Third, He counsels them to do the things that they did at first. This is also something that needs to get started. Revive the earlier attentions that caused your love to blossom in the first place. Go back in your mind to a time when you were truly close to the Lord and renew those thoughts and actions. “Repent and do the first works.”

Marriage counsellors will tell you that when a couple who has fallen out of love, they need to go back through the steps that bonded them together in the first place. Nearly every married couple was in love at one time. No matter what is going on between them today, they were attracted to each other at one time. If that happened once it can happen again.

A couple that is fighting and angry needs to back off and start over. It can be good to back off sexually and go back to square one in the relationship. Go out on dates, if possible to the places where your relationship got its start. Rekindle the joy in holding hands, kind words and gentle attentions. Take time off from work, reduce the pressure and act young again. Restore the bonds that have weakened or been broken.

This principle can be applied to spiritual life. If you have fallen out of love with God, go back to the things that bonded you to God in the first place. Where were you when you first felt God’s presence? What kinds of things did you do to respond? We don’t have to take the initiative in restoring our relationship with God. The gospel tells us that God has already taken the initiative. We love God because He first loved us. He is the Initiator; our task is to respond to what He has already done. We love Him because He first loved us.

No Comments

Post A Comment