By Tommy Pophin
In the book of Revelation, the Lord had John dictate these words to the church at Ephesus: “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Revelation 2:2-5)
Beulah Baptist Church has gone through a season of preparing for a Community Revival that begins today, May 18. We have prepared for this revival since the beginning of the new year. Out of all the preparations that have taken place, the most important one has been the spiritual preparation of our congregation through prayer.
On Wednesday evening, we shared in a Solemn Prayer Assembly where we gathered for an hour of prayer. The meeting was not fancy or largely attended. But it was powerful. There was not much speaking or conversation going on among those present but there was an awesome sense of the presence of God. The meeting was simple and purposeful.
In the Christian life, just as in our physical life, everything starts out simple. A baby enters this world naked and fully trusting its parents for everything. Many times, the thing the parent knows most is how to love the child. But as the child grows through childhood and into an adult, things get complicated. The child looks to other places for love and often ceases to fully trust the parent.
This is also what happens in our Christian and church life. Everything starts out simple, loving, and trusting. But as time and experience move on, things get complicated. We stop trusting God and we feel that He has moved away from us. The truth is we have moved away from God.
The Lord, speaking through John the Revelator, tells us that He sees our deeds, our hard work, and our perseverance. Even in the face of opposition, God knows we have endured. But the Lord Jesus tells us, as He told the Church in Ephesus, “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”
I encourage you to go back to the day when you knew Jesus saved you. As a church member, remember how it was when you first became part of your church. Things were simple. All that you knew was the love you shared with God and with one another. Everything else did not matter. For most of us, everything except for the love we share seems to take precedence these days. And our love for God and one another is either in the back seat or in the trunk of our lives as we go about the business of Christ.
Each of us needs revival. Return to that first love that you had in the beginning. God Bless you! Have a great week! Participate in your church this Sunday or come to ours! Pursue your first love for Jesus!
Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church. You are invited to join him and the congregation this week as they celebrate this Community Revival, May 18-21. Sunday Morning Revival Service is @ 11:00 and Sunday – Wednesday Evening @ 6:30.