In the introductory post to this series, we discussed the need to understand and that the messages to the seven churches are a model for every one and every church as a whole. The seven messages are seven guiding principles for manifesting fullness and coming into the stature of the mature son of God. Read the post here.
Here's the message to the first church, Ephesus.
From: He that holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
We know that the seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches and the candlesticks are the seven churches (Revelation 1:20). Grouped together they signify the God who gives power to those He has sent to be lights/witnesses. It's the God who holds the authority of the Church in His right hand. He is speaking of our ability to be a messenger who shines and brings light.
Things to continue doing and things to correct:
You have perseverance, hard work, and a dislike for wicked people. However, don't do these things as a matter of religion as you do now, of your own strength. Rather, remember your first love and let everything you do flow from God's Spirit and do things as He guides, just as you used to do (Romans 8:14). Pursue God as you did in the beginning, doing the same things you did, going after God even when it was inconvenient to the flesh, choosing instead to draw strength from God's Spirit. Return to your dependence on God, and let His will be the primary focus. If you don't return to the place where God was your first love above everything else, you'll stop shining with God's light because all that will be left will be your own works and not His. (See Malachi 2:14-16 that contains an allegory for first love and the connection to God's covenant with every individual)
* Reward for overcoming/hearing what God is saying: You will be given to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
You will be able to eat the true bread, Jesus, and have God's life in you.
See next post for message to the second church.