Fresh Hope – 22nd May 2019

In Christ’s Letter to the church in Revelation 2, we read, ‘I know all that you’ve done for me – you have worked hard and persevered. I know that you don’t tolerate evil. You have tested those who claimed to be apostles and proved they are not… I also know how you have bravely endured trials and persecutions because of my name, yet you have not become discouraged. BUT I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning. Think about how far you have fallen! Repent and do the works of love you did at first.

This church was a tried and tested church. They had done many good things in the name of God. They worked for the kingdom. They persevered. They were not tolerant of sin.  They endured trials bravely. Yet they had lost something. Their witness was weakened because they missed the main ingredient. In all their good works, they had left behind their love for Jesus. They had lost their passion. They had got caught up in the commission, and missed the connection. They had got distracted in the function of God, and lost their friendship with God.

Another translation says, You have forsaken the love you had at first’. The Greek word for “first” (protos) means “best” or “number one”.

I’m reminded of Jesus at the home of Mary and Martha. Martha was busy working for Jesus, running around doing good things in themselves. Martha was angry that her sister Mary was enjoying simply being with Jesus, rather than DOING for Jesus. “You should tell her to get up and help me”, she told Jesus. Much like the letter to the church, the Lord then answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I wont take this privilege from her” (Luke 10:40-42).

Mary had the passion. She knew what was best. What was ‘number one’. She had not forsaken her first love.

If you are feeling disillusioned. If you are feeling burnt out. If you have lost that inner fire and passion for Jesus and people, may I encourage you to do as the letter goes on to say … ‘Repent’ – meaning to change your thinking… ‘and do the works you did at first’ (Revelation 2:5).

Do what you first did when you first had that passion for Jesus…Make the time for him. Seek out the connection, and desire friendship. Choose what is better.

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.