"Yet I hold this against you; You have forsaken your first love." Ephesus 2:4
Jesus was addressing the Church in Ephesus. He commends the church in Ephesus for their deeds, hard work and perseverance. He also commends them for not tolerating wicked men and for their ability to identify false prophets. They were enduring in their hardships for his name and even were not weary of the trials. They were obeying God and his commands, but they were missing something. They left their first love.
Woe! If that is not an eye opener, I don't know what is. Jesus gave us two commandments that he desired above all: to love the Lord, their God with all their heart, their mind, their soul and their strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. They were following correct doctrine and obeying some of the commands, but they left their first love. This strict and lack of tolerance towards heresy may have caused them not to sincerely love others and this affected Christ and his body. If they sincerely loved Christ, then they would extend mercy, grace and justice towards others. However, they were more interested in being correct rather than lovingly leading others back to the truth.
Jesus then calls them to repentance and if they choose to overcome he promises that they will eat from the tree of life. The tree of life is a picture of the Holy Spirit that comes to live and abide in us. May we not hold to religion, but hold to the truth by walking in the grace that God has given us. May we love God and love others.