“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance… Yet I have this against you. You have forsaken your first love.”
How could God hold anything against such a hardworking and faithful church? However, they had lost their first love. What is “first love”?
It refers to the time we first came to an understanding of what God has done for us. When we realize how much God loves us, and the lengths he has gone to save us. Our response is to love him in return. Our love is new, fresh and overwhelmed that God would care for us. However, after we’ve been a Christian a while, we may find our focus drifting from what God has done and moves to what we are doing for God. We expect God to take notice of how much of the Bible we read, how long we pray and the good deeds we are doing on His behalf. We expect God to be pleased with our efforts, but we lose our first love with this attitude.
How do we return to our first love? Verse 5 tells us to “repent and do the things you did at first.” That is a return to our original focus. Paul agrees, saying, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him” (Colossians 2:6). We continue our Christian lives, the same way we started them, by relying on what God has done for us, and not on our efforts. God’s grace isn’t just for salvation, but also to enable us to live the Christian life.