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First love

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first." Revelation 2. 4

Revelation, which is the culminating book of the Bible, is in fact a letter comprised of several letters. Seven of these are addressed to churches around Asia Minor (Turkey) on what appears to have been a postal route, beginning with the church at Ephesus. The Ephesian believers have been doing a lot of good things but they are tackled by the Holy Spirit through John, who is the author of Revelation, for having abandoned their "first love".

Most of us are familiar with the situation. We start something - whether that is a hobby, work or a relationship - with great enthusiasm but after a while we get used to it, calm down and focus on other concerns. This is detrimental where it applies to other people: marriages are undermined, children are abused, neighbours are ignored. It is disastrous when it comes to our relationship with God because nothing should be more important than our reciprocal love for God in Christ. Jesus set aside his glory, exchanged bliss for poverty, suffered on the cross and sacrificed his life - for love of each one of us. How can we allow anything, however seemingly important or worthy, occupy a greater priority in our lives than the gratitude and affection he deserves in response?

So, as we look to the future in these unique times, as we seek to build back better, how shall we secure that "first love" as the top priority in our personal lives and in our church?

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