Bible Verse: Revelation 2:4-5 (NIV)
“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. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Merciful Savior, the One who loved us first and loves us still, we humbly approach Your throne of grace. We recognize the times our love for You and for others has grown cold, the moments we’ve drifted away from the fervent passion we once held. In the same way that you counseled the church of Ephesus to remember their first love, we ask You to rekindle the flames of our hearts, to help us return to that primary love we had for You. Jesus, teach us to love as You loved, selflessly and unconditionally. Let our hearts mirror Yours, a heart that forgave those who persecuted You and reached out in love even on the cross. Renew our love, not just for You, but for our neighbors, families, and even our enemies. May our lives be a reflection of Your perfect love. Amen.
The Bible verse from Revelation is a message to the church of Ephesus, one of the seven churches John wrote to in the book of Revelation. This particular message was both a commendation and a reprimand. While they were commended for their deeds, hard work, and perseverance, Jesus had one thing against them – they had forsaken their first love. The ‘first love’ here refers to the early zeal and passion they had for Christ, a time when their faith was fresh and vibrant. Over time, rituals, routines, or the cares of the world may have dimmed that passion.
This scenario can be reflected in our personal lives as well. Just like the church of Ephesus, we too can get caught up in the busyness of life, religious rituals, or worldly distractions and slowly drift away from our intimate relationship with Jesus. The beautiful thing about our Savior, however, is His constant invitation for us to return, to repent, and to reignite that first love.
The prayer is an echo of this invitation. By asking Jesus to teach us how to love, we are essentially aiming to emulate His actions and teachings during His time on Earth. Jesus’s love was selfless, boundless, and unconditional. His love was evident when He dined with sinners, forgave the adulterous woman, or when He washed the feet of His disciples. Above all, His greatest act of love was His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
In renewing our love, we are not only deepening our relationship with Christ but also enhancing our relationships with those around us. This renewed love enables us to love others the way Christ loves us, setting a Christlike example in our daily lives.