Rev 2:1-7 “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 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. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
God came and rescued me. He doesn’t help only those who help themselves. He came for those who could not help themselves. He is the water for those who are thirsty.
Jesus fills us, He satisfies us, He gives us living water so we never thirst again. Through Him, we are full. He fully quenches our thirst. He satisfies our hunger. He completes us. He is all we need. We can rest in that.
Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This is a message to the lost. This ‘rest’ is what the church has already been given. Jesus gives rest. He lifts every burden. He loves you that much. He gives you a new identity, a new life, new hope, new joy, new peace. Jesus has a better life for you.
The thief comes to steal some things (taking what is rightfully yours), to kill (to get you to sacrifice yourself), and destroy (bringing destruction to your life). Jesus came to bring you LIFE. The kind of life He brings is overflowing and abundant and more than enough.
Jesus was given 2 loaves and 5 fish and used that to feed thousands with leftovers! He’ll do the same for you.
He is not wasteful. Overflow belongs to someone else. There is purpose in ‘more than enough.’
Has God blessed you and because you didn’t give from your overflow, that the blessing stopped?
God gives more than you ask for. Solomon asked for only wisdom, but God gave him more than he asked for, money, fame, good health. Solomon had $55 billion in gold given every year. He was probably the world’s only nrillionaire.
However, if you don’t hold onto that original love, it will start to fade. We serve God and people.
Mat 24:24,37-39 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Mat 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
2 Thes 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
1 Tim 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”
Searing was done for wounds, hurting at first, then killing the nerve endings so that no feeling is there at all. This is what is done to a person’s conscience.
Heb 3:12-14 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;”
Parable of the Sower: Maybe the ‘soil’ is the four stages of our hearts. Maybe our hearts are stony. Maybe you’re distracted with the cares of this world. Sometimes, our hearts are hardened and the Word of God can’t take root.
1 John 2:18-19 “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Nothing can separate us from God, but you can choose to walk away. Nothing can separate you from God except you.
When people are in the world and have never known the world, there is a hand of protection on their life. God loves you and says, ‘No, not yet.’ The Lord protects you until you’re His and then continue to be His. After you’ve come to know Him, if you walk away, the protection doesn’t follow. If we reject Him, we end up belonging to the enemy, the anti-christ. Everyone has a chance to fall in love with Jesus. If we reject Him, we lose His protection.
Maybe the anti-christ isn’t just a man, maybe it’s part of a body. Perhaps in the earth, there’s a body of the anti-christ. These could be a group of people who have rejected Jesus.
When you first fell in love, twelve hours on the phone wasn’t enough. There was a time when you came early to church and left late from church. Prayer was exciting and not a chore. Giving is part of our everything.
Do we still give God our best or just the leftovers?
Being in love, you just enjoy being together, spending time together, finding out more and more about the other person.
What happens over time? Hurt, disappointments, and unmet expectations can derail that first love. Jesus doesn’t let you down, but He doesn’t necessarily do things as you expect. You may end up disappointed because He doesn’t answer or do things the way you want. He’s God and you are not. The friction between your desires and what God actually does can cause you to push Him away.
There are several different kinds of love, friendship love, romantic love, agape love (selfless love). This agape love, selfless love is the first love. You might be doing good things, but you’ve got to hold onto and continue to choose to love Jesus and others selflessly. Don’t reject Him because you’re disappointed in your circumstances.
How do you restore lost love?
There must be a knowing of Jesus, not just a doing for Him. It’s beyond the serving and the working. It’s all about the relationship we have with Jesus. It’s all about loving and trusting Him no matter what crazy is happening. It doesn’t matter the titles or the sense of personal importance, it’s about Him.
- Remember when you first fell in love. Go back to the most exciting moments. Remember how precious you felt to Jesus. Remember that love that you felt from Him.
- Repent of those things that you’ve gotten away from.
- Return and do the first works that you did. Seek His presence and spend time. Study that One that you love.
There are souls who NEED what you have, your overflow. Restore that overflow in your life. Remember, repent, and return to that love that you once felt. Seek Him, His presence.
Restore that lost love. He wants that for you. If you overcome and come back, Jesus will let you eat of the tree of life in the garden of God’s Paradise. Remember those days of first being in love. It’s not about just doing, it’s about loving God and loving people like He does. Remember. Repent. Return.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What really stuck out at you in this sermon?
- How is your relationship with God?
- Read 1 Cor 13:1-13. How can we apply these verses to our own lives, toward God, toward others, and toward ourselves?
- How can you help someone else by using the overflow you’ve been given?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.