"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Revelation 2:4).
The phrase "first things first" is a common expression used to bring focus back to a specific priority. In business, it is often the "bottom line." In academia, it may be the final grade. In many sports, it is the number of points scored. But the significance of these and other temporal priorities is crushed by the weight of Christ's "first things first" as He admonished the Ephesian church and all professing Christians who have turned away from their love of the Lord.
What happened to the Ephesians? After all, this was the same church that Paul highly praised one generation earlier when he extolled them for loving "our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity" (Ephesians 6:24). These were the same Christians who were exhorted to "walk in love" (Ephesians 5:2) and be "rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17).
We must understand that while our love for Jesus may be strong at one point, it can potentially weaken over time. Therefore we must continually examine the priorities of our hearts and realize that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34), lest we think we are impervious to such a decline.
Jesus made it abundantly clear what it meant to put first things first when He was asked, "Which is the first commandment of all?" (Mark 12:28). His straightforward response was, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:30).
May we ask the Lord to direct our hearts "into the love of God" (II Thessalonians 3:5), and if we have allowed anything to replace our first love for Jesus, may we "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works" (Revelation 2:5). MDR