Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of January 2, 2005


REVIVAL OR REVIVAL?

To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, … "I know your works, your labor, … and … you have … labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Revelation 2:4

The church in Ephesus was experiencing revival. They had a passion for the Kingdom of God but Jesus told them that they needed a different type of revival. They needed a revival of love.

All churches are in revival at all times. One type of revival is helpful and the other type is harmful. Paul wrote about a harmful revival in his own life.  Read what he said in Romans 7:9:

I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Paul’s revival was a revival of his sin nature—which was the result of his attempting to keep the commandment not to covet.

Evidently, what happened to Paul had happened to the church in Ephesus. They were doing their best to have victory. The members must have taken much pride in their vigorous activity. Their passionate service in the Kingdom, however, was in the flesh. Divine love had been crowded out by the flesh.

Jesus told the church in Ephesus that they needed a revival of love. The members needed to return to their first love—which was the love of God filling them and freely flowing through them.

How does a church in the midst of a harmful revival of passionate activity break through to the type of revival Jesus wants them to have?

Just as God supplied the first love, only He can restore that quality of love. Christians must do what Paul did to move from harmful revival to helpful revival. They must experience the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love …  Galatians 5:22

All of us can say, “Our church is in revival.” However, we need to ask ourselves if we are experiencing a revival of our flesh or a revival of love?