I love it when churches have names like “King of Glory Lutheran Church” or “Alpha and Omega Missionary Baptist Church.” If the church in Ephesus were still around, maybe we’d call them something nifty like “First Church of the Lampstand.”

We often miss the significance of John’s glorious vision in Revelation 1 of Jesus standing among the seven golden lampstands. These weren’t just decorative candelabras but substantial sources of light. How significant, then, that the lampstands represent the seven churches who were called to bring the light of Jesus into a very dark world.

We live in a dark world that desperately needs the candlepower of Christ shining through us. Let’s be careful, then, not to repeat the mistake of the Ephesians who “left [their] first love” (Rev. 2:4). Although praised for doing many things well, they had failed to keep Jesus in first place.

It’s easy to let things crowd Jesus out until soon we’re doing “church work” for all the wrong reasons. What then? We lose our impact. Jesus warned, “Repent and do the first works, or else I will . . . remove your lampstand from its place” (v.5). We can’t afford to let that happen. Keep Jesus in first place so that His light will continue to shine brightly in this dark world.