Repentance 1 – Return to your first love

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the ongoing need for repentance.

This version of “Man in the Mirror” from the movie “Joyful Noise” will greatly enhance today’s devotional study as it will stay in your head and make you remember the need for repentance.


Revelation 2:1-7

1  “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:

2  “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3  and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

4  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent.

6  But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘


Note: Repentance was the basic message of the prophets (Ezekiel 14:6), the message of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), the first sermon of Jesus (Mat 4:17) and of his disciples (Mark 6:12), the core of Peter’s sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:38), a foundational teaching of the church (Hebrews 6:1-2) and clearly a prerequisite for salvation (2 Peter 3:9). But repentance is not a once-off event as we see in today’s study.

  1. Read through the message of Jesus to this church in Ephesus (AD 92) and identify:
    1. How does Jesus reveal himself to them and how do you interpret it? [7 is typically symbolic of fullness or perfection in this type of Jewish writing] (v1)
    2. What does Jesus affirm or approve of them? (v2, 3, 6)
    3. What does Jesus accuse them of and what does that mean? (v4)
    4. What does Jesus instruct them to do? (v5)
    5. What does Jesus promise as reward and how do you interpret it? (v7)

Personal reflection and application

  1. When did your spiritual life flourish the most? Reflect on that time.
    1. How did you express your faith? In other words what did you do much of? (like prayer, or Bible study, or worship, or share your faith, or care for the sick or poor?)
    2. Why did you do those things?
    3. How does your current expression of your faith compare to that time?
  2. Does your heart love God now? How do you measure it?
    1. How does your love for God now compare to the season mentioned above?
  3. Jesus accused the church in Ephesus of losing their “first love” and then instructed them to “repent” and to “do the first works”.
    1. In which ways have you turned from your first passion of God? How have you “relaxed” you devotion to God and His truth since the time mentioned above?
    2. Which “first works” must you do to rekindle your “first love”?
    3. When will you do these things?
    4. Tell a friend to keep you accountable by sending a message now.


Personalise this prayer in Isaiah 26:8 (Good News Translation) as you ask the Lord to revive your heart: “We follow your will and put our hope in you; you are all that we desire.”