When zeal lacks love, faith is rendered useless. Love is the crux of faith. We can study the Bible like a scholar, pray like a warrior, evangelize like the world is ending tomorrow, but we still might miss the mark of faith. God desires our love.
The church in Ephesus, one of the most influential communities in the first century AD, patiently endured persecution and held on to their faith. But Ephesus is the first church that Jesus holds accountable in His revelation to John—and not for their lack of zeal:
“And you have patient endurance, and have endured many things because of my name, and have not become weary. But I have this against you: that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the works you did at first. But if you do not, I am coming to you, and I will remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (Rev 2:3–5).
Although the Ephesian church had rem…