Spiritual Self Evaluation – part 1
Would you read a letter if Jesus, was the author? I’m sure you would.
Well, He has – 7 of them.
All with the admonition: “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
His letter to the congregation in the ancient city of Ephesus is the first of the seven.
Ephesus, was commended for many things: good works, that they labored to the point of exhaustion in their ministries, patience, their stance against evil & their doctrinal purity.
Yet Jesus did chastise them for one thing.
He didn’t say:
“You don’t have enough ministries in your church.”
“You don’t have a single’s ministry/senior’s ministry.”
“You don’t do enough to feed the hungry or clothe the poor.”
The Lord revealed that they had “left” their first love.
“Left” not “lost.”
Jesus says, “There’s something wrong with your spiritual condition. I’m concerned about your heart, not your works. You have left your first (of primary importance) love. You’ve gotten so busy with the work of the church that your passion for Me has gone.”
For a church this means that you can have all the outward signs of success in ministry: doctrinal purity, Sunday School, Youth Group, Single’s Ministry, Senior’s Ministry, evangelism, church choir, etc. But if you don’t have a passionate love for Christ, you have nothing.
As individual believers it’s good for us to remember when we first began dating our spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends. Every time we were going to see him/her we made sure to shower, brush our hair, freshen up our breath, that we were clean shaven; that we put on perfume/cologne/after-shave, deodorant, that our hair was done just right; that we dressed up a bit more; etc.
We couldn’t wait to see this person we love. We couldn’t wait to spend time talking, walking & holding hands, sharing a meal, etc.
But now that our relationship has been going on for some time many of those things have disappeared. You go through the drive-thru & eat while driving. You don’t shave just for him/her anymore. Your breath smells like lunch. You haven’t held hands or opened the door for her in you can’t remember how long.
What’s happened? You’ve changed. You have left off doing the things that you once did.
It’s the same in your relationship with the Lord. There was a time when you put tracts everywhere. You would talk to anybody about Jesus, anyplace, anytime. You smiled so much that it bothered people!
You prayed before you took a step – sometimes literally.
When we first began walking with Christ, we were excited about everything: Bible studies, going to church, singing the worship songs, praying with our hands raised, etc. But now we have “matured.” We’ve become so “sensitive” that we don’t want to offend anyone by sharing the Gospel.
What’s happened? At one time we served the Lord out of love. But now that love has waned. It’s not as sharp as it once was. .
Jesus is saying, “I love the servant more than the service. I want a home, not a house.”
Yet He is also loving. So He told the Ephesian believers how to correct the issue of their hearts: “remember” “repent” “repeat”
Isn’t that just like Him? The Lord always offers us forgiveness & a way to return to how things should be.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” – Heb 13:8
Substitute your name for Ephesus, in this letter as you do a spiritual self-evaluation.
“I Miss My Time With You”
Blessings, Pastor Fran