By Allen Domelle, Old Paths Journal
“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;”
It is interesting that the very first church that the LORD addressed was the church of Ephesus. The problem that the LORD had with this church is that they left their first love. What is the first love? The first love is soul winning. God knew that one of the first things to slip in any church or any believer’s life would be soul winning. He knows that one of the greatest battles you will win is the battle to continue soul-winning for the rest of your life. I have watched many people stay faithful to church for their whole life, but they failed to remain faithful to the first love. My friend, you won’t keep the first love the first love on accident. God shows in His address to the church of Ephesus what you must do to keep the first love your first love.
First, you must never take the presence of God for granted. The very first thing God pointed out to this church was His presence. You will find it much easier to tell others about Christ when you stop taking for granted that you have the Saviour living in your heart. Never forget that day that you got saved. If you always stay in awe of the day that you got saved, you will find it very easy to keep soul winning as a priority.
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Second, never give up. In verses 2-3, God addressed the patience of this church and how they never “fainted.” You cannot become weary in doing well. Soul winning is one of those actions that you must do on purpose because there will be many times you won’t feel like being a soul winner.
Third, remember that you have never arrived. As good as this church was, God still had a “nevertheless” to address. Never get yourself to the point where you feel that you have reached the pinnacle of the Christian walk. No matter how much you have done for the LORD, there are still plenty of heights to climb. You mustn’t become haughty about what you have done, because haughtiness is the last step before a fall.
Fourth, keep a short account with God. God said in verse 5, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent…” The best way to repent is to get back to doing what you are supposed to be doing. You will notice that God says, “repent, and do the first works.” In other words, turn around from what pulled you away from soul winning and get back to soul winning. God is more interested in your actions than He is with your words. Your actions speak louder to God than how well you speak of yourself to Him. If you will get busy doing the first works, God will know that you have repented from your sin.
Fifth, listen to the Spirit of God. The importance of being Spirit-led and Spirit-filled can never be overemphasized. You will fail to continue at the first works if you do them in the power of the flesh. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to continue doing the first works of soul-winning for a lifetime. You will quickly burn out if you try soul-winning for a lifetime in the power of the flesh.
Sixth, overcome. God says in verse 7, “To him that overcometh…” In other words, you are going to have to tell your flesh “no” and overcome it by just going soul winning. You are not going to always feel like being a soul winner, but you must overcome the desire not to go by just going.
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