Revelation 2:2-7 (NIV1984) 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
This church planting journey has been the most beautiful and yet brutal challenge of my life and Christian walk. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Every day is a fight but the cause of Christ is a cause worth fighting for. One of the most rewarding, amazing, incredible, you get the picture, experiences is watching a wanderer come back home. There is no feeling on the planet like watching someone who was once close to God but life, circumstance, expectation, whatever, has caused them to fall away making a comeback. It is no easy task, believe me, I fully understand. Ministry is hard. People will disappoint you. Life happens at the speed of life. When I was fasting and praying asking God about the His purpose and vision for City on a Hill Church I felt a strong urging that God was going to use COAH to bring wanderers home. God was going to use COAH to help wanderers make a comeback. God was going to fill COAH with comeback kids. This is exactly what God has been and continues to do daily. It is my privilege to watch as I see people who hadn’t been in church for years coming home. I watch as God gently restores them, forgives them, heals them, changes them and then gets them back in the game. I have watched as these people have been a catalyst for others to make the same kind of comebacks. The Gospel is a story of comebacks. Jesus is the ultimate comeback kid! He came back from the dead defeated mankind’s three greatest foes; satan, sin, and death destroying the works of the enemy. But he isn’t done yet! No, no Jesus is going to make a huge comeback and this time when he comes back everyone is going to know who he is. As I read the text above from Revelation I asked myself why? what happened? The answer is in the text. They forgot to do the things they first did and fell out of love with Jesus. They let ministry, life, stuff, worries, relationships, people, and problems take first place. In modern times and maybe even then they allowed religion and hero worship get in the way of their walk with Christ. I have heard, “If we wouldn’t put men so high they wouldn’t fall so low.” Many people are made wanderers by shepherds who have fleeced the flock and have been left as prey for every wild beast (Ezk. 34). They have been so hurt by the church or people in the name of God that they lose faith. We must keep our eyes on Jesus! He is the only one who will never fail us. We must not lose our personal relationship with God because of man. We must not give up on God because we are disappointed with man. We can’t change anything from the outside in we can only bring change from the inside out and it has to start with us, in our hearts. We must be careful not to lose our first love and let the cause become greater than Christ. If we become cause centered rather than Christ centered we will be in danger to repeat the text above. Here is the Good News we don’t have to stay that way. We can make a comeback! The text calls us home. The text calls us to repentance. The text calls us to return to Jesus! The text calls us to make a comeback and promises to give us the power to make the comeback necessary. Listen I encourage you, I implore you, don’t give up on God or His Bride the Church because of man. Pursue Christ. Go back to the first day you met Jesus and live like every day is your first day. Make your comeback today, right now. Pray reconnect with Jesus, He loves you He is waiting. I have been tempted many times to walk away because of people. Truthfully I almost did! But I couldn’t. Do you know what kept me? I went back to the day Jesus found me. I went back to the moment Jesus took a broken, hopeless, helpless, dark horse and helped me make the comeback of the century. It was undeniably, unmistakably God! I couldn’t deny it. My comeback story is filled with setbacks but rather than seeing them as setbacks I see them as opportunities to make a comeback. Don’t let your setbacks become final make your comeback today! Be encouraged!