Love- simply

Consider a young child.  The child has the ability to express love without complication.  With a simple act such as jumping in your lap the child conveys love to you.  There is no pretense, no ulterior motive, just love. 

But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

In this verse Jesus gave us a key to our pursuit of walking in the kingdom of heaven- to walk as a child.  Not as an immature Christian, but in a simple and uncomplicated life.  The little child has not yet moved into the increasingly complicated lifestyle.  He has not yet begun to judge each person he encounters.  He looks for common ground with the next child.  He just wants to interact, communicate, and enjoy life.  There are no worldly trappings to shed.

In Proverbs the word "simple" has been given a negative connotation.  Its usage would lead us to believe that a simple person is unacceptable to the Lord.  The following is a great example:

Proverbs 27:12  A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished. NKJV

The NASB Version: A prudent man sees evil {and} hides himself, The naive proceed {and} pay the penalty.

The word "naive" provides us a much better picture of what the book of Proverbs is revealing to us.  As we complicate things and relationships we lose the original love that we enjoyed with that person.  Complications bring conditions.  Conditions bring judgment.  Judgment brings forth separation.  Separation causes love to grow cold.  With this understanding let’s take another look at the first church in the Book of Revelations:

Rev 2:1 "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."’

In the first three verses things were looking good for this church.  This church had works, labor, patience, intolerance for evil, discernment, and perseverance.  If you were to find these qualities in most churches you would be pretty excited.  HOWEVER, there is one thing that this church was missing- its first love.  This love must have been simple and refreshing.  There was no pretense.  This love preceded the works, labor, etc.  The church "forgot" the motivation behind its labor, patience, and intolerance for evil.  It was so wrapped up in its works, its first love was gone.  There is good news!  We can "repent" or return back to our first love.  We can change directions.  Our life can return to its inherent simplicity.  The church was given a warning- the removal of their lampstand.  The lampstand represented light or revelation.  The revelation that they had been given will be taken away.  They will become blinded, unfruitful.  To him who overcomes this direction away from his first love but returns to his first love, Jesus will give to eat from the tree of life.  Fruitfulness or blindness, which one do you pick?

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