The sermon yesterday morning was from Revelation 2:4-5, challenging verses about the love we had for the Lord and for others and how we need to keep that love shining brightly. “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”

Love is the criterion for success in the Christian life. John, originally one of the ‘Sons of Thunder’, learned what it was to love from Jesus and constantly encouraged others then to live a life of love. The way back to our first love is three-fold:

1) Remember the heights from which we have fallen
We have to constantly remember all that God is and all He has done for us. Ps 42:6 reminds us to remember God from the heights when we are downcast. We have to work hard at remembering in order to ensure that we never forget God.
2) Repent
That about-turn away from sin and towards God starts with an attitude of surrender. We have to acknowledge that God is Lord of our lives and give up our tendency to try to work things out for ourselves.
3) Do the things we did at first
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29)
We may expect the things we have to do to involve more effort on our part, more works, more prayer, more study, more evangelism. But whilst all these things are good, they must be the result of our faith, not our attempts to get to faith. The Galatian church were condemned by Paul for starting with the Spirit but then trying to go on in the Christian life in their own strength (Gal 3:2-5). This is an age-old tendency that we have which must be avoided at all costs. The primary work we must do is to take God seriously and believe Him in every area of our lives. If we do that, then it will help to keep our love burning.