To the angel of the church in Ephesus…Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love….remember the heights from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first… (Revelation 2: 1-7)
I convey my heartfelt gratitude to all of my prayer partners and supporters. Indeed, it is an amazing journey of moving together in God’s mission regardless of our color, culture and nationalities. Today, I would love to draw your attention towards a community by the name Bajau, who are a small refugee community found just off the coast of Malaysia who live their whole lives in the ocean. They live in wooden huts on stilts and survive by catching fish, octopus and lobsters off handmade boats. After being banned from living on Malaysian soil because of their refugee status, the Bajau people have severed ties with the mainland, instead choosing to live a nomadic lifestyle on the open ocean. Ocean is theirs prime source of livelihood and survival. According to Ng Choo Kia, (photographer) out of all needs, one the prime need for their survival on the ocean is “pure drinking water”. They trade the sea food to avail drinking water. Is it not a beautiful living imagery of contradiction where they live amidst abundance of water but lack drinking water?
My attention was captivated by a similar phenomenon of a historical faith community of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7). After being strategically positioned in a renowned city which was also known as the Metropolis of Asia, the church of Ephesus lived out their faith with sincerity. Their ministry accomplishment and endeavor were praised by God. They exhibited outstanding hard work for the sake of the Lord. Holding on to their courage to fight against the wicked was exemplary. Though they always lived in an environment of hostility, no external force could paralyze their perseverance. Amidst such an abundance of ministry accomplishments, endurance, God directly warned them about the scarcity that was at its pinnacle. God had a serious accusation against the church of Ephesus for forsaking the “first love”. They were founded by the abundance of God’s love, but still they lacked love for God. In His wisdom, God knew that, being sustained in the love for God is more essential than being exemplified for its accomplishments.
No wonder, there are equal possibilities to find ourselves in the position of Ephesus, where our priorities will be tested. I always get fascinated when I see the church participating in mission with a long-term vision. Churches are occupied with mission plans and strategies to reach the unreached. But, amidst all the efforts, let us take time to evaluate ourselves whether we are motivated by the love for God or is it the greatest scarcity in our life today. My earnest prayer to the Lord is that, we may come back to our first love for God to accomplish great things for the expansion of His kingdom.
Prayer of the Day: “Lord keeps us always at the center of your will and love, Amen.”
Quote of the Day: “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interest we pursue and the order of our priorities.” (Ezra Taft Benson)