Rekindling Lost Love
It’s tragic to see a marriage in which the spouses have grown cold toward each other. Though they’re still together, loneliness and isolation abound. There’s a rigid, lifeless formality to it, seen in their eyes and understood in their expressions. The vibrancy and fresh discoveries that marked their early love are missing, having slipped away with the passing years.
The Ephesian church was a task-oriented, tough-minded, truth-telling fellowship, and for this they were commended (Revelation 2:2-3). But in His words to them, Jesus revealed their Achilles’ heel: though they were seeking to hold fast to the truth, they had abandoned love. One commentator writes, “If the price paid by the Ephesians for the preservation of true Christianity was the loss of love, the price was too high, for Christianity without love is a perverted faith.”
Was it that they had lost their love for Christ? For each other? For the unbelieving community around them? It isn’t necessary to choose between those options. For when love for Christ is not as it should be, then our love for all else will be affected.
For those of us who are committed to doctrinal faithfulness, here is a challenging reminder that the ultimate measure of a church is found not in its programs, achievements, reputation, or doctrinal orthodoxy but in its love. Christianity, as the Puritan Thomas Chalmers eloquently put it, is about “the expulsive power of a new affection”—about falling in love with Christ, about a sense of the immensity of His pursuing, energizing, loving grace. If that love for Jesus begins to wane, we will begin to look a lot like the church in Ephesus: impressive from the outside but internally loveless. And Jesus warns that this is no small matter; removing the Ephesian church’s lampstand means removing His recognition of them as His church, His people. A loveless church is, in truth, not a church at all.
Perhaps you realize that you do not love God the way you once did. This can creep up on us so easily, our eyes growing dry, our prayers growing cold. What can we do?
Jesus says the remedy for lost love is first to “remember.” We need to recall what it was about Jesus that caused us to love Him in the first place and then use that as a spur for forward momentum. We need to restore our commitment to the things we did at first—which typically means going back to the basics. In short, we need to look again at Jesus, lifting our eyes from what we do—our programs, our efforts, our ministries—to the beauty and love of the one who died for us and who dwells in us. Love is rekindled by looking at that which is lovely. So if your love has grown cold, gaze at Jesus as He reveals Himself to you in His word—and joy and vibrancy will surely return.
The Supremacy of God's Son
1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
5For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God's angels worship him.”
7Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire.”
8But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.1
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
13And to which of the angels has he ever said,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
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