Do You Still Have Your First Love for God?
The 7 churches of Revelation have always fascinated me. They have one phrase repeated seven ways: “Watch yourself.”
We in the modern day church must check our “vitals” continually.
Ask yourself these seven questions to be sure your love for God is still lined up:
1. “The enduring church” (Ephesus)
Ephesus was an “enduring” church but not an “endearing" church. They "hung in there" and "gutted it out" but they lost the joy and delight of fellowship and enjoying the presence of the Lord Himself.
Ask yourself this question: “Do I still have my “first love?” Do I still long to be close to His glory, lean in to hear His voice, and greatly hunger for His Word?”
2. “The suffering church” (Smyrna)
Smyrna was the "suffering church." They endured great tribulation even unto death. This is a very real aspect of Christian life in many parts of the world: danger, intrigue, jailing, torture, beheadings.
Ask yourself this question: “Have I allowed tests, circumstances, and tribulations that I am passing through to destroy my faithfulness?”
3. “The deceived church” (Pergamum)
Pergamum was a "deceived church." They were very "open-minded" about new doctrines. They loved the Word ("hidden manna") but tasted any and every doctrine without realizing the danger.
Ask yourself this question: “Is there a new teaching I have become fascinated with that has resulted in compromise in my character and pollution in my purity?”
4. “The tolerant church” (Thyatira)
Thyatira was the "tolerant church." They were afraid to confront sinful relationships when they were right in their midst. "Tolerate" in Greek means to "let alone, allow, and permit." They feared "rejection" more than “deception.”
Ask yourself this question: “Is there a person in my life whose lifestyle is leading me away from Christ but I am afraid to confront?”
5. The “dead church” (Sardis)
Sardis was the "dead church." They had the buildings, the gym, the playground, the school, the cafeteria, the bowling alley and the balcony but they were all empty. What they are NOW is just a relic and monument of what they USED to be.
Ask yourself this question: “Am I living merely on reputation and not revelation?”
6. The “progressing church” (Philadelphia)
At last, a growing, healthy, “progressing” church! They were pressing forward into the new "open doors" God had set before them. They refused a rut.
Ask yourself this question: “Am I pursuing God’s ‘NEXT’… or the ‘EX’ in my life?” Am I whining over the past or excited over the future God has for me?”
7. The “satisfied church” (Laodicea)
This is the "satisfied church." They had “arrived.” They had been blessed. They had backed away from the fire into a lukewarm state.
Ask yourself this question: “Have possessions, promotions, things, ‘blings’ and ‘rings’ captured my attention, passions, and pursuit?”
Check your heart. Match yourself up to these seven questions and make some important adjustments.
Someone said, “Live like He died yesterday, rose from the dead this morning, and is coming back this afternoon…”