More of a God’s-eye view
Lord, let Your words search me, my church, Your Church. Let us hear what the Spirit is saying and respond.
Read REVELATION 3:1–13
 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.  Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.  The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.  Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars-I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.  I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.  Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat promises are contained in the passage?
I guess we all make assessments of churches we know. Sardis is the respectable church. As a result, they have a good reputation (1), but somehow they no longer get the real business done (2). Sadly, many of us will know of places like this: communities that have lost their focus and vital connection to the purposes of God. Possibly the numbers are still good, the teaching sound, the music group nicely in tune, yet he who holds the seven stars is not impressed (1); such a church has lost its way. The Philadelphians, by contrast, appear to have a good idea of the right way to go. It’s through the very door Jesus has opened for them. This letter provides a graphic example of the truth that, once God fixes his plan for us, no one can stand in the way. We just need to step out. It is not crucial that the Philadelphians can perhaps only stagger through the open door (8). God will provide the power, as long as we hold true to what we have. Notice the utterly unworldly example God gives of his might in verse 9. He will demand that the bad guys admit God loves us! So often, our Lord sees things differently than the way we do.
Ask God to give you a fresh, true impression of the church you belong to and a heart to respond accordingly.
Savior, You walked this earth with such passion for Your Father’s kingdom. I long for that passion to live in me.