Given that the Ephesians were faithful “doers”, it is tempting to imagine that the love they were lacking was that of emotion or attitude. The actions remained, but the original motivation was gone. But in the next verse (Rev 2:5), the text suggests something more was lacking. They are called to repent and do the deeds they did “at first”. The repetition of the adjective “first” suggests a direct parallel with their lacking love. Their early love had been tangibly expressed in action. Whatever these actions were, they had evidently diminished over time. Were they tangible acts toward each other or to God? Probably they were both. The Ephesians had expressed their true love to each other in attitude and action. And in so doing they were expressing their genuine love to God, the giver of all life and abundance. We too must never begin to think that simply doing our Christian duty can ever substitute for tangible love of the brethren expressed in word and action. For it is only through loving the brethren that we can begin to aspire to love God as we truly ought (1 John 4:20-21).