Look Can Be Deceiving
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
Sardis was a very loose-living and immoral society.
William Barclay calls Sardis “…a city of the decadence”.
He also says this in describing the church at Sardis: “The church of Sardis was at peace – but it was the peace of the dead.”
What is interesting about Sardis is that it was built high on a hill and was very difficult to overtake by force. The reason it was overtaken by attacking armies was not by overwhelming force but by overconfidence. This “overconfidence” caused those in Sardis to stop being watchful.
I came across this devotional from Rick Renner, and here is a little of what he had to say:
“Unfortunately, the city of Sardis is like so many of us. We become so busy with life, so tossed about by everyday cares, or perhaps so confident of our own abilities, that we become unaware of our own spiritual need. We go on in life as though we have no need to deal with the foundations of our lives, not realizing that tiny cracks are starting to form.
This kind of negligent thinking is usually accompanied by prayerlessness and insensitivity to the Spirit of God. A Christian who is too busy to get into the Presence of God is a Christian who will soon find himself in trouble, just like the city of Sardis.”
Similar to what Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 10:12—
Therefore let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation].
We need to be watchful and tend to our hearts.
Notice the phrase I highlighted from Revelation….Wake Up!!
This is what Jesus tells us to do: Awaken from our slumber. Quit putting our Christianity on cruise control. Quit looking and judging ourselves by what we are doing, but make sure what we do is an overflow of a close relationship with Jesus.
Let’s not forget whose we are. Let us not get too busy with our lives, even our church lives, that we don’t rest in the knowledge of who God is and what He has done for us.
Sometimes it does us well to get back to the basics:
God loves you. The first truth we taught our kids about God. And in the busyness of life, we sometimes forget the basics.
As we go today and this weekend, let’s wake up to the fact that God loves us. That God yearns for a true, genuine relationship with YOU!! What a comforting thought.
At VBS this week, the first night the kids were taught the simple fact that Jesus Knows Who I Really Am.
And guess what? He loves you!!
So let’s wake up and not take our relationship with God for granted!