“Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine!”
Thomas Hood, English Poet

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. With the excitement of romance, longing and chocolate. For many this is a day for roses, cards, and affection. For others, mainly the chocolate.

Still, for some, this is a day of great commercial cynicism, stating that this is just a day for businesses to become wealthier. Then there are also the cynical and religious amongst us that take every opportunity to point out that this is only a pagan holiday and that we should not dare to celebrate.

Whether you are optimistic and hopeful, or you reject the merits of a day dedicated to love, the fact remains that love should not occur, or fall, on just one day out of 365. The Bible tells us in a clear manner that God is love and that if we know Him then we ought to love as well (refer to 1 John 4). Everyday should be a day when we express and show love to one another.

This week as we jump into our study of The Seven Churches, we will begin by examining the message Jesus has for the Christian community in Ephesus. As we read the script that Jesus left us we find that Ephesus was praise worthy in many regards but the first condemnation they receive has to do with a lack of love. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first” (Revelation 2:4, NLT)!

Notice what Dr. Ganoune Diop has to say about this:
“Love is at the foundation of the church, given that the most wonderful characteristic of the God who founded it is love and that He did it out of love. The moving away from love, which in the text is compared to a fall (vs. 5), is an alienation from light. The covenant curse, the removal of the lampstand (vs. 5), is significant in this respect
(Diop, Ganoune. “Jesus Christ in the Midst of His People:
A Study of Revelation 1:9–3:22.” Journal of the Adventist
Theological Society 8.1 & 2 1997: p. 51).

Love is a very serious matter and Jesus shared that those who are victorious in overcoming this deficiency will gain a special victory. So, may we become a church that is willing to love God, one another and our community!

Grace and Peace,
– Pastor Geraldo