The fourth sermon in the series of Making Spiritual Connections” is Connecting Religion and Relationship. God basically tells the church at Ephesus that He was okay with their religion. In fact, He commends them on their religion; and them He says to them, “I have somewhat against you…you have left your first love.” So now He is saying that, “I have a problem with your relationship with me.” He is saying that you are doing that religion thing very well, but you have not focused on your relationship with me. Duty has replaced devotion and “you don’t love me like you use to.”
God wants us to understand that “time with Him is more important than doing stuff for Him.” Religion without relationship is duty without devotion. God says in His Word, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Here He is connecting duty to devotion. Please notice that God did not just say, “Keep my commandments!” He connected it to the relationship of love. God wants all that we do, all of our work in the church and for the church, to be born out of a love relationship with him.