The Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:1-7

the church of Ephesus - Its founding is recorded in Acts 19:1-20. It was the same church to which Paul wrote the book of Ephesians. At the time of this letter Ephesus was the capitol of Asia with a population of around 200,000. Some say it was also the capitol of heathen idolatry. It was built around the temple of the great goddess Diana which was adorned and beautified by the wealth of all Asia. It was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. The temple was a sanctuary for criminals because no one could be arrested for any crime within a bow shot of its walls. Ephesus had a huge outdoor theater which could seat about twenty thousand and a great amphitheater that seated over one hundred thousand. At times there were as many as two million people gathered there. It was a place of resorts, and the Roman emperors often came there. It was a city constructed of white marble, a beautiful place. It was there Paul had his greatest ministry, and it was there John later became pastor. The preaching of the gospel made a great difference. Such was the impact of the gospel on Ephesus that four great pillars or towers were placed at the entrance to the harbor, and upon them was the emblem of the cross. One tower was dedicated to Matthew, one to Mark, one to Luke, and one to John. Only one stands there today, but it still bears the symbol of the cross. There are other evidences of the tremendous impact of the gospel at Ephesus where pagan temples were turned into Christian churches. The church of the living God has always been located in the midst of wickedness. Jesus said, “they that be whole need not a physician”. As God's people we are to be in the world, not of the world. That's the great reason the church needs to repent. Only when we are the light we should be will others see the need to repent.

he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand - The seven stars are the seven messengers or pastors of the seven churches. Jesus identifies Himself as the one that holds these messengers in His right hand and He should be the one with whom their message originates.

who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks – The candlesticks are lamp stands. They represent the seven churches which can not give off light of themselves. Jesus identifies Himself as the one who walks in the midst of His churches. It's His light the churches should be shining into the world. We should note here that Jesus holding the seven stars and walking in the midst of the seven lamp stands shows us He is in control. One could argue such is not the case today, especially in America. The failure of the church to truly influence our culture is proof of it. One thing we can certainly take away from this is it's Jesus that should be in control: of our hearts, of our lives, of our families, of our churches and of our nation.

As we begin to look at Jesus' commendations of this church I believe it's important we identify His one condemnation of this church so we can see the importance of it as we go. It can be illustrated by what we find in Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went (Jesus and His disciples), that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. The contrast here is of Mary and Martha. Martha is cumbered, meaning to be arrested, to be concerned, to be troubled, or to be grieved. Her eyes are on what needs to be done, while Jesus is sitting there in her house. Her reasoning and desire is commendable. If not for the light which Jesus brings we might commend Martha and condemn Mary. Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet instead of helping her sister. Her focus is Jesus, she's in love with Him and will not pass up an opportunity to see Him, touch Him and hear Him. Her first love must come first. Service then must be motivated by that kind of love. That's what Jesus condemns the church at Ephesus for. Many would still commend Martha and condemn Mary in spite of what Jesus says, but I would remind them of something else that happened in John 12:3-8 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. This is a stern rebuke to those who would rather do things than to nurture and express their love for Jesus. There are many opportunities to do things for Jesus, but relatively few to worship Jesus as Mary did.

2:2 I know thy works - Know here means to see perfectly. Prov 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. God sees and knows us perfectly. We hide many things from others, but nothing from God. Something to note here is works do not save us, they do not keep us saved neither do they bring us favor with God. It's love for Christ which gains us favor with God. Works testify of what is within us. Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Paul said in Phil 2:12-13 out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. James wrote in James 2:18 ...shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Works testify of what is within us. Something else to note is as we find in Eph 2:10 good works should be present in those who are God's. Paul said to Titus about false believers in Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Someone once said the Christian ought to be like a good watch, all gold, open faced, well regulated, dependable, and filled with good works. How we accomplish our works testify of what motivates us. It's the lack of proper motivation that Jesus will later rebuke this church for. The foundation of proper good works is love.

and thy labour - Labor means toil resulting in weariness. One could say it's an over abundance of good works. These people were not idle or lazy, in fact they were very busy to the point of weariness doing God's work. However, this type of toil must be founded upon love for Christ to be proper maintained. If not it will fade and die.

and thy patience - Patience means cheerful endurance under pressure or offense. These people did not give up easily nor were they quitters. They were enduring patiently. Cheerful endurance needs the right foundation in order to last. If it's founded on what we hope to gain or a desire for what we think should happen, it can easily lost when our expectations or desires are not realized. Patience founded on love for Christ can continue indefinitely. Paul wrote in 1 Thess 1:2-3 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. Work of faith: works show what's on the inside. They show our faith. Labor of love: why we do what we do determines its value and effectiveness. Labor founded on love for Christ can last forever, even beyond death. Patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ: A proper love for Jesus allows us to wait patiently for Him and simply do what He asks because He asked. 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. Love is the proper foundation of faith, labor and patience. Move any or all of those off the foundation of love for Christ and they will weaken and eventually fail.

An example of what improper motivation results in: The church at Corinth had many problems when Paul wrote to them in first Corinthians. Paul wrote in 1 Cor 3:1-3 ...I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? One of the problems they had was the improper motivation for possessing and exercising spiritual gifts in doing God's work. Paul said to them concerning that in 1 Cor 12:27-31 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. So what is the more excellent way, what is the most excellent motivation? The following is a paraphrase of what Paul says next in 1 Cor 13:1-8, 11If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I succeed only in drawing attention to myself. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and have all knowledge; and if I possess great faith, so I could remove mountains, but lack love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I offer myself as a sacrifice, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, is kind and not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not hold a grudge, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but prophecy, different languages and being distinguished by knowledge will all vanish away. When I was a child I spoke like a child, thought like a child and reasoned like a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. It's childish, foolish and immature to be motivated by anything but love for our Savior Jesus Christ. It's foolish to place faith, works, labor or patience on any foundation except love for Him. To do so is to set a course for failure.

Some things that only real love for Jesus can motivate:

1. True humility. Jesus said in Matt 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Only a true love for Christ will allow us to see and learn of His meek and lowly heart. Only then can we find the rest to be truly humble. Matt 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
2. A hunger and thirst for righteousness. 1 Pet 1:16 is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. When you really love someone, especially someone like Jesus, you want to be like them, you want to please them. What's important to them will be important to you.
3. Joy in persecution. Acts 5:40-41 ...and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Without real faith founded on love for Jesus that wouldn't have been possible.
4. Loving your enemies. Jesus said while being crucified in Luke 23:34 ...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. It's said of Jesus in Heb 12:2 ...who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame. Jesus seen that He was providing salvation for all, even those who hated Him. A great love for Jesus is the only thing that will allow us to see the needs of others above our own.
5. Real devotion. Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. How can we do good works in such a way they only bring glory upon God? Matt 6:3-4 ...when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:6 ...when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:17-18 ...when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Real love for Jesus is the only way to truly glorify God.
6. The right affections. Matt 6:21 ...where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The treasure of far to many Christians is not what it should be. 1 Tim 6:7-9 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. Lives are wrecked by misplaced affections. Ps 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Jesus possesses everything. If we are His and we love Him, then we have everything and need nothing.
7. The right attitude. Matt 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. To often we analyze and judge people and situations as if we had perfect knowledge and understanding. We are sure we see things the correct way, but our judgment is flawed at best. In fact, the only judgments we can accurately make are the ones God has already made. Our attitude, especially toward others, will often determine whether we can provide real help or make things worse. John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. God's primary reason for sending Jesus was to save us because we were already condemned. It's true, people won't get saved until they know they're lost, but there is no better way to show them their need than by having a great love for Jesus. Only when we fall in love with Jesus can He teach us to love others like we should. As Paul was trying to teach the Corinthians, love is truly the more excellent way.

and how thou canst not bear them which are evil - Bear means to support as a burden. This church did not compromise with or tolerate evil. The phrase “canst not bear them” should not be associated with hatred for those whom they identified as evil. If reasoning and judgment rests on a foundation of love for Christ then we can have the right attitude. That attitude can be seen in what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim 2:24-26 ...the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. This is the attitude we should have toward the wayward outside the church. False doctrine inside the church is to be identified and called what it is because a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Paul himself had said to these people many years earlier in Eph 5:8-17 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. In the years since Paul's letter the Ephesian Christians had done well walking in the light and are a great example to us all. Yet if they began to move off a foundation of love for Christ they could easily become hypocritical and begin to vilify the wayward instead of seeing them as people who need help.

Jesus tried to teach His disciples that just because someone is wrong doesn't make it right to vilify them or desire their destruction. Luke 9:51-56 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he (Jesus) should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. The word “spirit” even though it may not be capitalized refers to the Spirit of God. Jesus' answer to the disciples request was to tell them they were not influenced by the right spirit. Their motivation was not love. Loving an enemy is only possible through a consuming love for Jesus.

and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not - Tried means examined, proved, or tested. These people had been actively applying the truth and as a result had a great spirit of discernment. Heb 5:14 ...strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. John himself warned us in 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. God, angels, men, women, children, demons and Satan are all spirits that must be tried if we are to distinguish truth from error. In our time many preachers and teachers have unintentionally become story tellers and entertainers to gain a reaction from people about their message. Some have also become expert at moving people to the alter at the close of a meeting by learning to play to the emotions of their listeners. However, it's resulting in very little real change or true repentance and that's a sure sign God is not really involved. The Church stands in great need of a spirit of discernment to truly see what's going on in and around it. It can only be gained through embracing and actively using the truth found in the Word of God. A love for the Word is the result of love for the Savior. This is something the church at Ephesus had, but was moving away from.

I want to spend a moment here talking about revival and what it's going to take to really have it. Over the decades since I've been saved I've heard revival described as getting fired up, getting on fire for God or something similar to that. Such terms are most often used to describe how we should feel after a meeting or series of meetings. The meetings may be followed by a short period of determination, activity and involvement, but ultimately the people end up right back where they were. When I was in high school we used to have pep rallies before football and basketball games. The purpose was to get the students excited and provoke fanatical support for their team in the coming game. There was nothing spiritual about it, it was simply an appeal to the flesh. In fact, “let's get fired up” was often a cry heard at these rallies. Many modern day revival meetings and worship services are nothing more than pep rallies which cause excitement and can make people fanatical for a short time, but bring no lasting change. Though we fail to identify it as such those type of meetings are actually relying on exciting the flesh to bring about change or cause us to serve God effectively. Modern day preachers, evangelists and worship leaders are not the first to make such mistakes. Jesus said to His disciples in Matt 26:31-35 ...All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. Peter and the others were strong men, but they hadn't yet learned they couldn't rely on their own feelings or fierce determination. Later Jesus tried to persuade them to do what would make them spiritually strong. Matt 26:36-41 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. We know the rest of the story. Most forsook Him and fled. Peter followed far off and denied even knowing Christ. Only John stayed with Him.

Revival should not involve stimulating the flesh, but rather putting it to death. The only real way to do that is by embracing truth. Jesus said in John 8:31-32 ...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Stimulating the flesh only leaves us in bondage, truth makes us free. In the sermon on the mount Jesus commanded us to rejoice in persecution, love our enemies, turn the other cheek, do more than is required, give without expecting anything in return, do good deeds and pray and fast in secret so we may be rewarded openly, lay up treasures in heaven instead of on earth, put God first and let Him provide for us and not be a judge of others. We can't effectively do those things without embracing God's truth we find in the Bible. Revival is about embracing truth, then practically applying it daily. Doing so will change us and put the flesh to death. Love for Jesus is the only true motivation that allows us to embrace truth that will really change us. John described himself as the disciple who Jesus loved. At the time of Jesus' crucifixion John was the only one who had a love for Jesus strong enough to keep him from running away. We will love Him as we should only when realize how He loves us. John continued to live and declare the truth of Christ until he was close to 100 years old, far longer than any other of the original twelve disciples. That's a changed life and that's what revival is. Paul wrote this in 2 Cor 12:7-10 ...lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. God said His strength is made perfect in weakness and Paul said when he was weak then he was strong. Those two statements ought to let us know that real strength has nothing to do with exciting or arousing the flesh.

2:3 and hast borne - Borne means to carry or take up. It's the same word used in verse two translated bear. These people carried the burden of the work of the Lord. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. There are afflictions involved in doing the work of the Lord. These people also carried the burden of others. Paul said in Gal 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. These people carried the great burden of truly identifying with Christ. Previously we seen this church did not support those that were evil and had tried those who said they were apostles and were not showing them to be lairs. How unpopular this must have made them, how hated they must have been by the religious people of their day. Jesus was hated most by the religious crowd and so shall it be for those who truly identify with Him. The last thing religious people want is to see the truth about themselves.

and hast patience – Patience means enduring, continuing and waiting. The Webster's 1828 Dictionary describes patience as the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience involves doing the right thing even when you see no results. Patience involves suffering in this life and waiting for your reward in the next. It takes trust in God and seeing the invisible to have real patience. If we examine what Jesus wanted us above all to know of Him we will see patience. Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Rest is a good way to describe patience and we gain it through learning of Jesus' meek and lowly heart. Patience is only possible through humility.

for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted - Labored means to have toiled to the point of being fatigued. Not fainted means to have continued despite growing weary. Earlier Jesus had said He knew the good works of these people and He knew the extent to which they were doing them (to the point of exhaustion). As we just seen He also said He knew their patience (not expecting immediate results or reward for all they did). Here Jesus commends them for not quitting despite their weariness. It's easy to find excuses for quitting. The flesh and the devil will always supply us with many. The one and only reason for not giving up is Jesus. Heb 12:1-2 ...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus never gave up on us and we should not give up on Him.

2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee – These people have done great up until now, but their motivation is shifting. They are beginning to do the right things for the wrong reason. Jesus sees this clearly for what it is, the beginning of the end.

thou hast left thy first love - The first love of all truly saved people is Jesus Christ. When a person truly embraces Jesus for who He is, Jesus becomes the most important person or thing in their life. This is illustrated in what Paul said in Phil 3:7-14 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul is telling us he had religion and he gave it up for a relationship with his Savior. Paul's life was now about Jesus, the one who loved him, saved him from himself, from religion and from the corruption in the world.
A lack of love for Jesus causes us to fail to properly identify with Him. This is perhaps the greatest reason the church is not influencing our society correctly. We can judge for our selves the consequences of not properly showing Jesus to the world. If all we show to the world is religion then all we offer them is bondage which is what they already have.

The Bible has one great and important message. God our Creator loves us. When we rebelled He sacrificed Himself for our sin and because of that we should love Him. That's personal, that means God wants a relationship with us. When a christian or a church fails to be motivated by love for Jesus they offer to the world a religion instead of a relationship with God. Therefore, having the wrong motivation has devastating consequences.

2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen - The first step to getting where we should be is remembering. Example: Ex 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place. We need to remember how God saved us and what He saved us from. Example Israel: Eze 16:4-6 the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. What are the consequences of not remembering? In second Peter chapter one Peter tells us if we are not adding to our faith then we are forgetting what God has done and what He has promised. 2 Pet 1:5-11 all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Stuck in the present, focused on the here and now, no vision of God's promises fulfilled, no remembrance of what God has delivered us from. The cure is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. If we are not learning and growing then we will become unexcited about what we know. However, if we are learning and growing the new never wears off.

repent - Repent means to think differently, to reconsider, to have a change of mind. If we are truly to love Jesus as we should we are going to have to repent. This does not come easy for most of us. Declaring to God that our love for Him is not, or maybe never has been, what it should be will not be something we will do without proof and proof is often rejected or explained away. We humans have a tendency to find a comfort zone and then reason away all statements or truth that might move us away from that zone.

do the first works – In the beginning of most relationships things done for the other are done simply because of love for them. There is no purer motivation than love. Listen as God questions Israel about their lack of love for Him. Jer 2:2-5 ...Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord. Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? What sin or wrong have we found in Christ that we do not love Him with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our strength? Jesus should never be far from our thoughts. We should always be speaking to Him and listening for Him. I have never had any trouble saying to one of my grandsons, “I love you”. The reason is because it's true. We should not have any trouble saying that to Jesus, in fact we should long to tell Him. When a relationship becomes a burden there's something wrong with it.

I will...remove thy candlestick – We established before that a candlestick is a lamp stand or light holder. This properly describes the church which should not give off light of itself, but should hold the light of Christ. Holding and projecting His light into the world is simply not possible if we do not love Him with all our heart. A lamp stand without a light needs to be removed.

2:6 thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans - The name Nicolaitans means to conquer laity. From that many have supposed this to be a priestly order taking authority over fellow believers that didn't belong to them. Another theory is there was a man by the name of Nicolaus of Antioch, who apostatized from the truth and formed a cult which taught (among other doctrines) that one must indulge in sin in order to understand it. They gave themselves over to sensuality with the explanation that such sins did not touch the spirit. Whoever the Nicolaitans were they were a cult snared in a false doctrine.

2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear – We need to remember something Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:3-4 ...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. The time is now. Many have an ear to hear, but only what they want to hear. In our time hearing what the Spirit is saying to the Church is going to take some discernment and discernment comes from a willingness to use the Words of God.

him that overcometh - Who are the overcomers? 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? The overcomers are those who know and are in love with Jesus. The promise to the overcomer here is that he will get to eat of the tree of life, a privilege which Adam threw away in the Garden of Eden. Speaking of the New Jerusalem John said in Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.