In Revelation 2:4 we read, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Does that tie in with I John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us”? And secondly how do we recognize and correct this departure?
Dear Ms. Alandis,
How brilliant that you pulled these scriptures together! It is something to ponder and ask ourselves every day.
1 John 4:19 is so poweful! I would venture to say the scripture leans on the cross which stems from John 3:16 Our Lord seems to always take the inititive in all things us. Do we ever understand His love for us? Perhaps when I am in heaven and our Lord wraps His arms around me, I will understand why He loves me.
Revelation 2:4 I believe was talking to the Ephesians who may have either lost their first love for our Lord or for each other in the begining of their faith.
But this is an interesting link. And regardless who our Lord is talking to; it seems it can qualify as a call to bring us back to our first love, Jesus Christ.
My dear friend, I would say maybe when we remove ourselves from His good grace and love by stepping outside from His words. It is this way when we do not do as our Lord asks that we are leaving His protective arms.
You didn’t take our Lords words out of context, but brought them together.Often we have to think and pray harder when we have to take the entirety of the word and not throw out one scripture. So how lovely are you to connect these dots for us.
Please tell us more about this connection between scriptures that you found?
Hey @ALandis this is such a great scriptural connection to ponder on. I just love how we are reminded of God’s love for us in these passages. For me, it highlights the intensity of his love for us. How do we recognise it when we depart from our first love? I think it depends on if you’re asking about us as individuals or as a corporate body of Christ. As an individual, my experience is that the Holy Spirit will prod and poke me until I recognise that my heart has departed from Christ as my first love. Often my focus will slip from God without me realising. Even when I’m busy serving him it’s easy to lose my focus on him! That’s when the spirit will lovingly and gently urge me to recapture the biggest priority for me to focus on: God himself. Now, for many people this is enough to recognise the error and come back to God. For some, they may take longer to discern the promptings of the Spirit but my experience is that God pursues us and never gives up until our hearts are repentant. He just adores us!
As a corporate body of Christ who may have wandered from our first love, it is often down to individuals to intercede on behalf of the whole body. I think we are responsible for one another and can uphold the church and the nations in our prayer. I think there is power in this.
Once we have recognised our hearts wandering away, we simply need to repent and come back to the place we were in with God.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 chronicles 7:14
I think this will apply to us as a body and as individuals. I hope that answers your question?
Let me share my thoughts on this matter.
1 John 4:19 is an amazing verse. It talks about the ultimate love of God for us, that He initiates to love us. Now, when we encounter the love of God for real, that He loves us despite of our unrighteousness, then our primary response should be to love Him too. Because that’s what personal relationship is about, two parties (God & us) are loving each other intimately.
Revelation 2:4 is a verse found on one of the warnings of Jesus to seven churches, particularly to the Church of Ephesus. It talks about that in the end times, there are some christians that will abandon their first love (Jesus Christ)
The connection of these verse I think is these; first, the first love that was said in Revelation 2:4 talks about Jesus Christ who loves us first from the beginning, which stated in 1 John 4:19. Second, to correctly interpret these two is it calls us for a great awakening. Jesus loves us first, He courts us to win our hearts, so don’t refuse that love when we have given the chance.
People who don’t experience God’s love is better than those who know His love, but chosen to abandon it.
The connection of these two leads us to wake-up call between God’s love and our possibility of abandoning His love.
Thank you for giving your time to read this.
I hope this helps.
Dear Sanah, you are so right in that the Lord takes the initiative, and how I thank Him for that! His love for me keeps me grounded; otherwise I’d be lost completely. Like you, I can’t wait to feel His arms around me in heaven. (Wow, the thought is so amazing!) I wonder how often He’s wrapped His arms around me here, and I didn’t even realize. I had a hard time believing He loves me until I figured out it’s because He is love, not because I am anything or can do anything worthwhile.
The link was suggested years ago by a godly friend, but I never really looked at it then. It came to my mind last night as I was praying. Is it that He is our first love or is it that our first love stems from our acknowledgement of His deep love for us? When we know how deeply we are loved, are we not more inclined to love others with that same love? He is the infinite source.
I wish I could talk more now, but I must go to work. I’ll be back for more discussion! Thanks, Sanah, for your wonderful reply. The Lord bless you and keep you.
Dear Ms. ALandis,
Yes mam, it kinda like a circle is is not?
John 15:12 ’ My command is that you love each other as I have loved you.’ Peter 4:8 ’ Above all love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.’ Ephesians 4:2 ’ Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing one another in love.’ 1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us. ’
It seems impossible to separate our love for each other, and forgiveness to each other without bringing everything around to the origin of our first Love, our Lord who taught us divine love through the ultimate sacrifice, redemption, and forgiveness for all of us! Is our relations with our sisters and brothers in our Lord a reflection of our relationship with our Lord and perhaps a very good indicator that we are stepping out from our First love?
One of my favorite verses that brings things around to what you were explaining is Matthew 5:23-24 ’ Therefore, if you are offering a gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in from of the alter. First go be reconciled with your brother; then come and offer your gift.’
This is definitely a wonderful question and many thoughts.
This is beautiful Ms. Alison and so so so very true. Our Lord leaves the 99 to never give up looking for the one lost sheep. He loves us so much!
Looking forward to more conversation here! Everyone has such a amazing insights in our Lord! May he continue to bless us.
Thanks for responding, Alison. When I’ve looked at it in the past, I’ve thought the Ephesian saints lost that love feeling/desire they had for the Lord, and as a result all their works were done out of duty. Looking at it though as having departed from the inner understanding/acknowledgement of His love for them is so different for me. As someone who came to the Lord after struggling to be “perfect” in order to be accepted by a Holy God, it really frees me to know “He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”. @artownsend and @sanahdalah15, reading over your responses, are you both looking at “first love” in Rev 2:4 as being Christ Himself as their first love? Forgive me if I’m being too technical. There is no love apart from God anyway.
And yes, the Holy Spirit will prod and poke us until we recognize where we are. I’m so grateful for that. I’ve learned so much about God’s heart and ways raising my son. The lessons we learn raising another human being are incredibly fruitful. Our love never changes towards them even though our pleasure in what they are doing changes. Apart from the early days of my faith, I’ve struggled with keeping a consistent prayer life or reading etc… The Lord is always on my mind and in the center of my thoughts, and I am always praying as such, in my thoughts, actions and decisions throughout the day, but that consistency of a quiet time is something I have never been able to maintain. It may be due to not being totally structured, but I do wonder if my allowing other things to distract me means deep down that I’m not living in the sunshine of that first love. Here’s another verse that just came to mind from Malachi 1. The Lord says in verse 2, “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’” How sad that must be for God’s heart. Thanks again, Alison. I really enjoy and benefit from reading your responses on Connect. God bless all you do in His name.
@domingoosabel, I remember once buying my young niece for her birthday an expensive necklace along with a much cheaper one. Well to my surprise she loved the cheap one and just totally ignored the other necklace. You said, “people who don’t experience God’s love is better than those who know His love, but chosen to abandon it.” It is so shocking to think anyone would experience His love and choose to walk away. I know many (and I love them so much) who have abandoned God, but I have a hard time believing they ever truly experienced His love in the first place. I think my niece had no clue about the worth of that other necklace. Maybe that is the same spiritually?
“The connection of these two leads us to wake-up call between God’s love and our possibility of abandoning His love.” Would you say the result of the Ephesian church abandoning their first love is that God would remove their testimony in the world? “I would remove your lampstand …unless you repent” (verse 5).
Thanks for taking the time to write @domingoosabel. I appreciate getting to know the heart of my brothers and sisters in the Lord through this forum.
Yes, it can be that those people who experienced God’s love, yet abandon it may not truly encounter His love.
It can also be that their heart and commitment is not genuine enough to fully dedicate their lives to Christ.
Now, concerning the Ephesian Church, Jesus’ letter in Revelation is a warning to those churches.
The church in Ephesus has abandon their love to Jesus Christ, not because He will take away their lampstand, but because that was they have chosen to do.
The statement in verse 5 is not the reason why they have abandon their first love, it was Jesus’ warning that if they don’t repent, Jesus will take away their lampstand.
Thank you for acknowledging my answer.
I hope this one helps you to make it clear.
Thanks Domingo. This is definitely a warning to all of us.
Something I be pondering what is the difference between losing your first love and being backsliden. Thx
Hi John, I think when trying to differentiate between losing first love and backsliding, it would be good to go back to Rev 2:2-5. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent." In my opinion, the Ephesian believers were still doing everything that they had done in the early days of their faith but not with the same fervor of first love. To other people the outward appearance and labor of these believers would have been no different than before; however, the Lord who knows us intimately knew they were growing complacent. Backsliding though, I think, is going back to old habits and sins and would be apparent to other believers. King David was complacent when he didn’t go out to war in 2 Samuel 11 and that eventually led to backsliding. Thankfully, the Lord promised He will not leave us nor forsake us. God continually works toward making us more like Jesus. We have all fallen short and have at times been complacent. The best thing is to get back into the Word, whether we feel like it or not, get back into fellowship with other believers. I find reading the gospels, especially John’s gospel, refreshes my heart when I feel far. Hopefully, someone with greater knowledge can weigh in on this as well. It’s an important distinction for us all to contemplate. God bless.
Thx that makes sense been reading a book about first love remember and return by John MacArthur just wanted see things with a different set of eyes.