Monday, 2 March 2020
What is happening at the congregation in Ephesus? Revelation 2:4 "But this I have against you, that you have forsaken your first love." This is followed with an admonition to repent and a threat that if they won't repent, their "menorah" will be removed from their presence.
Maybe the better question should be how does that apply to us? We, ourselves might forsake our first love. After all, if it could happen to the Ephesians, who history indicates probably received visits from Rav Shaul (Paul) and (the capital "A" Apostle) John and per perhaps other capital "A" Apostles, then it could certainly happen to us.
The consequence of having our menorah removed is that light will be taken from our community. Without light, we will stumble about in darkness. Without light, we are living in the 9th plague. Without light, we can't see the path the Lord is calling us to walk (as a community and as individuals).
After all, what is our first love? Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
Why is that so hard? Because everything in this world is crying out for our affection. Especially in the days of the early church, and just like today, there were people perverting the gospel. False teachers were leading the people astray, and I've recently described some of our modern expressions of that old deception.
Your first defense, keep reading the Bible. The printing of the Bible fostered the Protestant Revolution. Putting the Word of God into the hands of an educated population was revolutionary. It doesn't do us any good to have a Bible unless we read it. (There you go, that one was for you, Bob Sisson.)
The second defense is prayer. Practice listening prayer. Ask God questions and wait for answers. Always match the answers with Scriptures (the only way to do that is to know the Bible, go back to defense #1).
The third defense is communion. I've started receiving communion every day. What a difference it makes. I highly recommend it. Get yourself a box of matzah (keep it in a gallon freezer bag for freshness). Buy a bottle of the fruit of the vine and you're all set.
The fourth defense is each other. Surround yourself with godly people to whom you are accountable. Talk about what you're hearing from God and seek wise counsel.
That's it for today. Blessings my friends and thanks for reading. I know it sounded a little "preachy" today. Remember, I'm writing to myself, but I don't mind if you read my self-talk. Shalom.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,