Are You Among The Living Dead?
In Revelation chapter two, we see what appears to be a model church. They performed good works and were involved in the community. They were steadfast and patient. They hated evil and pointed out false doctrine. But Jesus said, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” His message was brief, but powerful. They were to repent quickly or He would remove their influence. He would remove His presence from their midst.
A.W. Tozer said, “A Christian will make spiritual progress exactly in proportion to his ability to criticize himself.” Do you want to mature…are you ready to grow and change? Then you must assess your spiritual health often. This type of model church spoke about in Revelation, often has the courage to speak God’s truth but does not have the humility that allows God’s truth to speak to them. Did you catch that? “We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble” (C.H. Spurgeon). Here are just a few things we can learn from Jesus’ words to the church in Ephesus. Be encouraged: Jesus’ words often hurt before they help.
1.THEY ARE WORKERS WITHOUT LOVE. Without love, we become rigid and controlling – we snap and do not like to be challenged. Workers without love are often short tempered and easily irritated. They may have a sense of entitlement. Workers become bitter and arrogant because they are workers and others aren’t. When control is threatened, they lash out. They view themselves as more spiritual and in tune with God because they “know” more.
Jesus is saying pastor, preacher, teacher I hear your truth, but it lacks spiritual life – you are dying spiritually. Mom, dad, ministry leader, usher team, worship team, children’s ministry team…I see your works, but there’s no life – you’re dying spiritually. When work flows from love, we go from depressed to joy-filled; empty to purpose-filled; joyless to joyful; bitter to loving; tired to renewed; angry to gentle, and boastful to broken.