by Verena Johnson
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‘You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet … you have forsaken the love you had at first’ (Revelation 2:3,4).
John commended the church in Ephesus for the way they endured and persevered through hardship, but he had an issue with them: they had forsaken their first love.
Do you remember what it felt like when you first fell in love? Do you remember the intensity of your emotion, the weak knees, the fluttering heart? What about the can’t-think-about-anything-else feeling?
However, love often wanes. We can find ourselves going through the motions, getting into a rut, taking each other for granted, and drifting apart. You have to work at a relationship.
It’s the same with our relationship with God. Our love and devotion for him can wane. We don’t intend to forsake him or our love for him, but we can find ourselves going through the motions before we even know it. We can do all the right things, but it becomes more of a ritual than a relationship.
I’m sure the Ephesians didn’t mean for it to happen either, but somewhere amid all the hardships and perseverance and even their good deeds and hard work, they drifted apart from God. Hopefully, this letter was the wake-up call they needed to refocus on their relationship with God.
The good news is that God’s love for us never wanes. He loves us literally in a way that is ‘to die for’, as they say. He loves us passionately, deeply and completely. Nothing and no-one can change that. His heart’s desire is for a close and intimate relationship with us. He keeps pursuing us, wooing us and calling us back to him.
Wherever you are in your relationship with God, he is calling to you today: ‘Come to me, be with me, let me show you how much I love you.’
Dear God, thank you that your love for me never changes. Open my heart and mind to the depth of your incredible love. Forgive me for the times I have neglected our relationship or drifted away. Help me to grow in my love for you. Amen.