Why the Church Must Repent and Return to Our First Love

(Unsplash/Kelly SIkkema)

"Although you were once small in your own eyes" (1 Sam. 15:17b, NIV). These unforgettable words spoken by the prophet Samuel to Saul still ring true today. From the leadership to the flock, we must all heed the words of Samuel. Think about your own life. Where were you when you were "small in your own eyes". How much time did you spend seeking God when you had little to no resources? How earnest were your prayers as you poured out your heart to God in your early days of knowing Him? How many hours did you spend in study of His Word when you were so hungry that you could not get enough? Compare then to now.

For most, we have digressed. We have lost our first love! Note what our Lord said to the church at Ephesus: "But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me]. So remember the heights from which you have fallen, and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God's will] and do the works you did at first [when you first knew Me]" (Rev. 2:4-5a, AMP).

Dear Friend, these are not words from an offended Lord, but from a wounded lover. We have wounded Him. We have left Him behind. The cares of the world, the world system and culture, the material realm have captured our hearts, and our love has grown cold for the things of the Spirit. We are too tired to pray, too busy to attend a service, too attracted to the temporal world.

Where are we going as a church? What impact are we making on our nation in this condition? We are going downward, and our impact on our nation is a weak, fleeting vapor. The only hope for us is to come back to our first love, come back to where we were when we first had that all-consuming fire burning within our heart. Come back to spending time alone with Him. We must ask God to break us and break us and break us again. We are hard, cold and calloused in our ways, and it will take the "breaking up of the hard soil" so that we can be pliable in His hands again. It's time to repent and come back to our first love. That is our only hope of experiencing a personal revival. If we do not, how will the world ever be impacted?

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Jesus warned Ephesus and gave them the command to repent. And if they did not they would have to pay the consequence: ..."otherwise, I will visit you and remove your lampstand (the church, its impact) from its place—unless you repent" (Rev. 2:5b, AMP). To remove your lampstand means to remove the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life! The lampstand gives light but only through the oil within it. If the oil is removed, there can be no light.

These are serious days and we are in a turbulent time in our nation and the world. The church of Jesus Christ can only be the light to the world and change the direction and course of the nations if we remain small in our own eyes and repent and come back to our first love.

Sharon Bolan Yerby's evangelistic and prophetic calling has impacted multitudes around the world. Her message emphasizes the kingdom of God, the crucified life and the person and power of the Holy Spirit. Visit sharonbolanyerby.com

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