April 27, 2021
by: Gabriel Tseng

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. – Revelation 2:1-5

And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. -Acts 19:11-12

Looking at the beginning of the church of Ephesus and the words to the church from John in Revelation, we find a bustling amazing church forming from the preaching of the good news preached by Paul. With amazing miracles and even dirty tissues discarded by Paul being taken up by the sick and healed. It is amazing to see such scenes of witches and random folks bringing their sinful books and practices to confess and repent as they turned to the Lord. 

In Revelation 2, we see Ephesus commended for a great many things, yet drifting away from their first love. A first love. When we first believed. When the grace of God and the presence of Him seemed so palatable. I remember my bible being so worn with pen, pencil, folded, full of bookmarks from taking notes and making sure I would not forget things the Lord was speaking to me. I remember prayers that were not fluffy, but full of emotion, connection, and meat. Those early days, I never seemed to be in a rush to get anywhere. Dwelling in the Word and abiding with Him so much that my bible was with me wherever I went, the very Word I would read on 10 minute rest breaks or hour long lunches. 

While I know that my life back then was filled with different circumstances, my body full of different energy, it is understandable that maturity and time has changed a great many things. His words in Revelation 2, “you have abandoned your first love….do the works you did at first,” cut me to the heart and resets me during this season, to not overcomplicate or obfuscate, but to return to what is required, to sit at His feet. Not to major in the minors, but to keep what is first, first. 

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