“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4
God acknowledges the Ephesians’ service, their hard work, their perseverance and endurance during hardships (v.2-3). Yet he criticises them, not for their lack of love, but for their lack of fervour. God doesn’t want lukewarm love but rather a love that’s comparable to the first strong feelings of romantic love. Furthermore, we can’t substitute good works for love. Even our adherence to high moral standards and “not tolerating wicked people” (v.2) counts for little, if we aren’t passionate about our relationship with God.