THE MINISTRY OF LOVE BY PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
…Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will…remove thy candlestick out of his place… (Revelation 2:1-5).
Think about this: Even after the Lord praised the church in Ephesus for all their labour, He had something against them; they had left their first love. What was the first love? Evidently, it refers to their love and passion for Jesus Christ, shown through their love for the brethren.
The Ephesian church was a church that was known to love the Lord and the brethren. In Paul’s epistle to them, right from the first verse, he addressed them as the faithful in Christ Jesus: “…to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In the fifteenth verse, he noted their love for all the saints. “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints” (Ephesians 1:15). This was the first love he charged them with leaving in Revelation 2:4.
I John 4:20 says, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” To love Jesus, you must express it in loving God’s people. By loving the brethren, you show that you love Christ. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel”
Paul was writing about God’s people and how their expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be in their relationship with others. Jesus told the Ephesian church to do the “first works”: loving Christ so much that they express it in loving others. Thus, the love of God you demonstrate in action—towards those you can see—is so important. Do you remember those that labour or work with you? Do their conditions affect you or are you hard-hearted towards them?
Do you remember fellow ministers and neighbouring churches going through difficult times? These are things that must be foremost on your mind. If you’ve not been love-ruled, if your actions haven’t been motivated by love, just as Jesus told the Ephesian church to repent, you must repent as well.
He said if they didn’t repent, He’d take the church out of its place. That was what He meant by removing the candlestick out of his place; the church would no longer be there. This shows that the relevance of the Church is in its ministry of love. Walking in love has no alternative.
Make up your mind and train yourself to walk in love. Don’t be hardened against your brethren, your siblings or even strangers. Let your heart be softened and be easily stirred to help.
The love-nature of God in my spirit causes me to radiate and express love to everyone. I’m full of love! I sincerely display kindness and grace, and speak and believe the best of others, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
1 John 4:18; Luke 23:33-34
1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Matthew 21:33-22:1-14 & Exodus 20-21
2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Matthew 11:11-20 & Genesis 31