The key to any BBQ is the fire. I know people will tell you it’s their sauce or seasoning but if you don’t have a good flame, it will still taste terrible. I BBQ over oak wood. It takes a while to learn how to start and maintain a good fire, but I have learned over the years. The key to a good fire is to continually fan the flame. The same goes with our relationship with Jesus.
I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
The church in Ephesus was the model church. Paul spent years there developing the leadership and disciplining the believers. They even had people go from that church to start other churches in others cities. (Think Colossians) Even as John is writing this letter, they are still flourishing in the midst of persecution and trials. The problem was that their love was growing cold.
There is a danger of our love growing cold even if we are doing all of the right things. A couple of struggles and some dissension and soon we start to close the doors to our hear to prevent it from getting hurt. Soon we lose our first love, Jesus Christ because we are hesitant to love others. That is where Ephesus found themselves and where we can find ourselves if we are not careful.
Fire in Our Belly
Our relationship with Jesus has to be the source of all that we do for the church. If our motivation is to keep up appearances or impress others our love for Christ will start to wain. He has to be the fire in the middle of our belly, and that has to fuel everything else. If we don’t stoke that fire, we will look to other sources for life.
How do we stoke the flames in our love for Christ? It starts with an assessment. Ask the Holy Spirit to do an inspection of your heart and show you what needs to be rekindled. Next, repent of your sin. Sin extinguishes our fire for Christ faster than anything. Finally, you need to feed the fire. If you aren’t putting God’s word into your heart, there will be nothing to burn. Just as a car runs out of fuel if you don’t give it gas, so does our relationship with Christ fade if there is no Word or prayer.