Perseverance & Love

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What we value and give our time to are chief indicators of where our hearts are at. We will always seek after what we love most. When left to ourselves, in the quiet hours of the day, what occupies our time and thoughts? It’s not difficult to take a quick assessment of where our passions lie. But we may not like what we see. So instead of being honest with ourselves, we fill our time with business or thoughts of comparison between our choices and that of others who have “clearly gone off the rails.” We may even busy ourselves with good and righteous deeds. Operating this way is dangerous and unhealthy. The church of Ephesus was guilty of leaving their first love and thereby receiving a direct warning from Christ who threatened to remove their “lampstand” from out of its place unless they repent (Rev 2:5). This warning was not due to apostasy or some blatant immorality in the church. Rather, Christ acknowledges their good works and faithful perseverance but condemns their lack of love for Him. In some ways, the church in Ephesus sounds a bit pharisaical, as described in Revelation 2. They toiled in the ministry, performed good deeds, rooted out evil men and their false teaching, and even suffered hardships for the sake of Christ, but their hearts were deathly cold. This goes to show you that you can have all your theological ducks in a row, show up to church every Sunday, comb your hair and dress the part and still be no more Christian than the false apostles in Ephesus. I implore you to take account of your affections and what you pursue on a daily basis. How do you respond when what you seek is not obtained or when it’s taken away? What controls your mood or emotions? Are you compelled by Christ and captivated by the transforming work of the gospel (2 Cor. 5:14)? These are important questions to ask as we consider the condition and health of our hearts. Like the Psalmist, may we often pray, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Ps 51:12). Jesus is so much better. May we return to our “First Love” each and every day. —Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Reformation Heroes: Ulrich Zwingli and Anna Reinhard, part 1

10AM: Pastor Rory–Perseverance & Love–Revelation 2:1-7 (sermon notes)

11:45AM: Potluck

12:30PM: Members’ Meeting

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