The Importance of Living a Spirit-Filled Life

The body of Christ in Ephesus abided in Christ, but not perfectly. Despite all the good works, labors of love, great patience, endurance, courage, and righteous living they practiced, the all-seeing eye of God still revealed where they were failing. Christ had to point it out in this way:

‘…I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love’

Revelation 2:4

As the bridegroom of Christ Jesus, they were supposed to remain pure, but at some point, they abandoned the heat and warmth of their first love. They became mechanical without affection and love. Perhaps they had ministers and leaders who enticed them or exalted some doctrines that were above the Word of God. Instead of remaining steadfast in prayer and sound doctrine, they focused more on other things like their mode of dress, tithing, seed sowing, prosperity, deliverance, dancing, etc., and in turn abandoned the weightier matters of the Word. Similarly, Jesus had to rebuke the Pharisees and Scribes for this same offense.

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‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone’

Mathew 23:23

For that reason, when you uphold one way of life far above core Christian life and values, you may eventually end up practicing witchcraft without knowing it. This is where convictions come in. Convictions are a manifestation of faith. As a result, it is better to embrace the fruits of the Spirit above other things. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance: there is no law against such. 

Obviously, the Christians in Ephesus prophesied, manifested God’s gift, sang very well, and preached and eloquently defended their faith. Yet, if you could relate to some of them closely, you would have seen the presence of greed, pride, immorality, financial mismanagement, jealousy, covetousness, anger, and unfaithfulness in families. Despite their zeal for evangelism, deliverances, exploits, victory over the goddess Diana, and destruction of evil forces, the Ephesian church lacked genuine love for Christ. That was tragic because no matter the number of demons you cast out or testimonies of prosperity you shared, you are absolutely nothing without love.

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No matter your achievements, exploits, crowd, boldness, and kingdoms you may have conquered, if you lack true love, you are under condemnation. The Lord Jesus told the Ephesian church that He has something against them. Your members, family, and those who sing your praise may not tell you the truth, but Christ will. You may be generous, good, and gifted, but if you are tribal, practice selective judgment, favor your tribe’s people, give only them big branches, and hate others, you will fall out of God’s love. Pure love does not discriminate or practice partiality in God’s kingdom. When the Ephesians received Christ through the ministry of Paul, their love was pure and undefiled, without discrimination or partiality.

The pressures of life and the love of things in this world can sometimes cause a once-super Christian to abandon his first love. Jesus values everything you do for Him and others, but your love for Him must not diminish. One of the evidences of true love for Christ is feeding His sheep. Three times, Jesus said to Peter, “Do you love me?” Feed my sheep. The primary duty of a shepherd is to feed the sheep. It is very unfortunate that many people in the ministry today are not feeding the sheep, and the reason is that they have no love for Christ.

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If your church fails to make real spiritual exploits, handle effectively the challenges church members face, and produce successful members with Christian characters, then you may need to examine whether your love for Christ is genuine. And if your so-called ministry lures members to sin or causes your pastors to commit immorality, they become God’s enemies by breaking His commandments and harm their relationship with God and others; your love is defiled. You may have one million branches and uncountable millionaire members, but if they are not born-again, you are not feeding Christ’s lambs. In your ministry, if your efforts are not filled with labors of love, then they are not worth anything.

Christ is the love that God has given to us, and He must be recognized and given the right place in our lives. God commanded us to love the Lord with all our minds, hearts, and strength, and therefore, we must obey.

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