A Journal for Bible Teachers

Return to Your First Love

Return to Your First Love

The Church at Ephesus. One of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor during biblical times was the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was a port city situated at the mouth of the Cayster River, a very important city full of life and activity. At one time, its population was estimated at 250,000 people. It was a very busy area, and the church there was a very busy church. John wrote of the church at Ephesus: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted” (Revelation 2:2-3). This church was very busy.

First Love Lost

However, this church had a serious shortcoming, and the Spirit of God through John has to address it. The Lord puts it this way: “Thou hast lost thy first love…” (Revelation 2:4). This church was busy and full of good works, yet in their personal lives, they had lost the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They had lost that beautiful connection with their first love, the Savior. Paul, at Ephesus, had experienced a full-scale revival for an extended period of time, yet now the wonderful communion between the true believer and Christ had been broken. It was broken by all of the lesser responsibilities of life and even the lesser things of the kingdom. Jesus established the priorities in the kingdom in His words to Martha when she said to the Lord, “Bid my sister to help me.” Jesus, in effect said, “Listen, your sister has chosen the best part (sitting at My feet) and it is not right to take it away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42). The church at Ephesus, simply put, lost sight of this. The result is that no matter how much “good” activity they had, without the connection to the life giver, they died inside. My dear friend, this too can be where you are today—busy, yet inside you know you are empty.

The History of Ephesus

This truth is taken to the next level when you understand the history of the city of Ephesus, for Ephesus was a port city that had a slow but constant flow of silt coming into its shores. Silt is the very smallest visible particle of earth, much smaller than a grain of sand. Every morning and every evening this extremely fine deposit of earth would wash into the shore of Ephesus and become part of the beach. This fine silt was more of a threat than anyone could have imagined because, eventually, the whole city of Ephesus was completely buried under tons and tons of earth that washed in little by little. The actual location of the modern day Ephesus is over five miles further inland than it was during the writing of the scriptures!

The Lesson for Life

In conclusion, what can we learn from the church at Ephesus? Simply put it is this: We can start out in our walk with the Lord full of life and a wonderful connection to the Savior. As time progresses, we can become busier and busier, even while it seems harmless enough. In fact, it may even be for the kingdom that we are laboring. For whatever reason, our relationship with Jesus begins to slip little by little, like the grains of silt. Small things get in the way. If we continue on this path, eventually we lose complete communion with Him altogether. Our walk is reduced to a lifeless ceremony.

Dear friend, I encourage you to take stock today. If you feel the silt of business covering the life you once had with the Lord, stop the cycle, begin to seek the Lord with fresh purpose, and begin to let the flow of life come back again. I pray we will not end up like Ephesus, overcome and buried with all of the little things of life, with nothing left for the Savior.

About the Author

Rev. Frank R. Anderson is an ordained minister holding credentials with Zion Fellowship International, based in Waverly New York. He travels every year abroad to conduct teaching sessions in Bible schools and to preach in their associated churches. His main ministry focus is teaching His word.

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