October 20, 2020
Revelation 2:4-5
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
New International Version (NIV)
“How are you and God?”  Someone asked my friend Bill that question after he had endured cancer treatment.  Bill was taken aback that his church member would ask him as a pastor that question.  “How are God and I doing?  We are doing fine.  Except we don’t talk anymore.”  I suspect Bill is not alone in this situation.  Are you and God still on speaking terms?

Good news:  God was still talking to the churches in the first century.  The exalted Lord Jesus told John to take dictation and write letters to seven churches.  Each letter identifies the speaker:  “These are the words of him . . .”  Remember the young rabbinical student who never heard the rest of his Rabbi’s sentence as the teacher quoted scripture, “This the Lord spoke . . .”  The young student was so amazed he ran into the streets shouting, “The Lord spoke . . .The Lord spoke”.

To the church in Ephesus the Lord spoke words of affirmation about their work ethic and perseverance.  But there was one problem:  they didn’t love the Lord the way they did when they first became believers.  I suspect the Ephesians were not unique in this problem.  The scriptures predict that the hearts of many will grow cold as the years wear on.  Like Gomer of old, the believers in Ephesus had forsaken the Bridegroom Jesus for other loves. 

The news gets better.  There is hope for the Ephesians if they will turn and return to the way they first loved God.  There is a solution for our sin.  We turn from it and return to God.  He freely forgives and lavishly loves his people.  Wait.  But what if the Ephesians and the Christians today don’t return to a love relationship with God.  We will lose our light.  Does this mean we will lose our salvation?  No.  But it does mean that we will lose our opportunity to share God’s light with the world. 

Would we know if our lampstand had been removed?  Good question.  I suppose we could be so busy pretending to be in the light, like the Pharisees in John 9:39-41 that we don’t know we are walking in darkness.  But the people who know the light will know.  For the lost in our world, Jesus is the only hope.  The best thing for a lost world is a church still in love with God.
Pray with me:         
“My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine.  For thee all the follies of sin I resign.  My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou.  If ever I loved thee, my Jesus ‘tis now.”  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:9-10
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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