“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…”
Jesus had some really good things to say about the Ephesian church. He knew their works, their patient perseverance, and their labor for His name’s sake—without becoming weary. On the outside, this church looked wonderful!
But Jesus sees everything—outside & inside. He not only sees our deeds, but also our desires, our motives, our intents. To Jesus, these things are just as important—if not more important—than the deeds themselves.
Jesus saw that the church in Ephesus had left their first love. Outwardly, they looked very active for the Lord—but inwardly, their motivation had more to do with maintaining appearances than a genuine love for the Lord and others.
Heed the warning from Jesus’ message to the Ephesians: if your service is not first motivated and maintained by love, it profits nothing—no matter how much you get done for the Lord. He does not care how outwardly active you are. He knows your works and He sees what is underneath it all. Thankfully, Jesus gives us the same remedy that He gave the Ephesian church: Remember, repent, and return.
We know the first works of our first love are to talk to God through prayer, to give Him opportunity to talk to us through His Word, and to be part of an open and honest fellowship. Prayer, the Word, and fellowship—it’s the simple recipe for health and maturity for any believer in any situation at any time.