Losing Focus

Read Together: Revelation 2:1–7

On Sunday morning, Adi reminded us that we need to be careful that we do not lose our focus on the main thing. We are called to reflect the character of God as we proclaim the good news to the world. Yet, there is always a danger that we lose this focus. And one church who had lost their focus was the church in Ephesus.

In Revelation 2:1–7, Jesus sends a letter to the Ephesians. This letter comes to Ephesus about 40 years after Paul founded the church there during his second missionary journey. Jesus commends the Ephesian church for their good works, good theology, and patient endurance in suffering for Jesus. But Jesus also calls out something that needs to change: they’ve abandoned their “first love.” Jesus calls them to repent and return to this love they have neglected.

What was this first love? As G. K. Beale writes, “This probably means they had lost their passion for the message of the gospel. . . . A passionate love for Christ leads us to love those outside and seek to win them.”* The church had grown cold in their love for God and for others, and so they were neglecting their witness to the world. They had lost their focus on the main thing.

In this rebuke, there is a warning for us. We must keep our focus on the main thing. We must continually pursue a vibrant love for Jesus that leads us to represent him boldly and winsomely to the world. As individuals, as families, and as a church body, we must keep the main thing the main thing. We must not abandon our first love.

Discussion Questions

  1. What was the “first love” that the church in Ephesus had abandoned?
  2. What are the dangers of losing focus on the main thing?
  3. What are some ways we can keep our focus on the main thing?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “A Mission for the Ages” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 232–35).
  • Discuss with your children this question: What is the main thing Jesus has asked his church to do? Talk about the mission of the church: loving God and others as we share the good news about Jesus with the world. This is a good opportunity to talk with your children about the focus of the Christian life and the mission of the church.

Memorization: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Song: Listen to “O Church Arise” (Keith & Kristyn Getty). This is a great reminder of our focus: we are “An army bold whose battle-cry is Love/Reaching out to those in darkness.”

Pray Together

  • Praise God for his unfailing love!
  • Confess before God that we often lose our focus on the main thing and neglect our loving witness before the world.
  • Give thanks to God for the good news of Jesus that is power for salvation to those who believe.
  • Pray that God would give us strength to love him and others this week by sharing the love of Christ with those who don’t know him.

Go Together

  • As a family or with another believer set aside a time this week to discuss this hard question: where is my/our focus in life? Be honest and consider whether the good news about Jesus is really your focus or whether, like the Ephesian church, you have left behind your first love. Then, write down some practical ways you can be intentional about sharing the love of Jesus with others over the next two months.


*G. K. Beale, Revelation: A Shorter Commentary, p. 55.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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