We have had our share of winter with the cold accompanied at times by snow, sleet and ice. Although the majestic scene of nature can be beautiful, yet it disrupts the every day activities of people who must go to school and to work. Finally, the sun shines through the clouds and the snow, sleet and ice begins to melt and things return to a state of normality once again. Soon spring will be here with new life springing up and the dormancy of the winter time will be gone with this new revival springs forth.
I trust our spiritual lives are not the same as the weather has been during the winter because it is a sad day to be in the winter time of service to God. It seems that many today are in the winter naturally and spiritually. The Bible declares in Matt. 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” It seems that we are living in such a time as the love of God doesn’t seem as intense as in former times. The love of many shall wax cold like the winter. Iniquity abounds and many have given themselves over to its inclinations and have forsaken the assembling of themselves together to worship and show their love for God.
The love of God is still abiding within people if they have been born of God; however, it is hidden as iniquity is followed rather than the Lord Himself. Many have the attitude and say, “Well. what is the big deal?” Well, God days it is a big deal for His people to have their love for Him wax cold. Something doesn’t wax cold unless it has at some time been very hot. Satan is ever on the warpath seeking whom he may devour to rob them of joy and peace. This can happen to individuals as well as whole church assemblies.
The Lord commends the church at Ephesus on many things but then he turns the tables and says that he has somewhat against them. What did he have against them? “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Rev. 2:4). Â This church had left their first love which is the Lord Himself. The Lord had not left them but they had forsaken Him. People have forsaken the Lord and may not even realize what has happened. It is like floating in a floating device on the beach. You are caught up in the moment and then when you awake to reality, you see the beach in the distance. You have unwittingly drifted away from the safety of the beach and into dangerous waters in which sharks may be more likely to be present.
Yes, the Lord had somewhat against the church at Ephesus but he also had the remedy for their sin, and yes, it was a sin to leave their first love. Listen to the remedy which the Lord gives this church: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:5). The remedy can be summed up with three R’s but they are not “reading, riting and rithmetic.” They are to “remember” from whence they had fallen. Remember how it was when they were serving according to the will of God and enjoying the very presence of God. Then they are to “repent” of their cold state and once again let their light shine to the glory of God. Repent means to change the way they had been doing things and not just have good intentions. Finally, they are to “resume” or once again do the first works when they were so in love with the Lord. The Lord threatens to remove the candlestick unless they take advantage of the remedy.
Ephesus was in a season of winter time because they had left their first love much as Laodicea was in their lukewarm condition in their fellowship with the Lord. We cannot speed up the season of winter and usher in the brilliance of spring of the natural seasons; however, we can do something about the season of winter in our spiritual lives. Do we want to be blessed as individuals and as churches? If we do then we must “do” as commanded in the scriptures. Jesus said in John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” The word “happy” here means blessed. It is a blessing to “know” these things and an additional blessing to”do” these things.
There are at least two types of sin we all commit. They are sins of “commission” and sins of “omission”. The sins of commission is very easy to identify but the sin of omission is without this luxury. The continual indulgence in either one of these sins will cause us to drift into a season of winter time in our lives. Let us all be about the Master’s business in adhering to the commands of our blessed Lord. God bless all.–March 7, 2015–Elder Larry Wise