THIS IS YOUR WAKE-UP CALL
Jesus, I need Your strength and power today.
Read Revelation 3:1–13
To the Church in Sardis
3 “To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 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.
4 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. 5 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. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “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. 8 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. 9 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. 10 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.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 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. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
a Revelation 3:1 Or messenger; also in verses 7 and 14
b Revelation 3:1 That is, the sevenfold Spirit
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre you a Sardis or a Philadelphia?
Sardis had twice in its history fallen to its enemies because it had not been alert and watchful. Jesus picks up on this and warns the church to be vigilant—to wake up before it’s too late (1,2)! Perhaps they were complacent, due to their reputation (1). What does Jesus promise for those who have remained vigilant (4,5)? It’s interesting to compare the sleepiness of Sardis with the stalwartness of Philadelphia. How much power does it take to remain faithful to God (8)?
Jesus seems to be saying to Sardis: I can see right through you. In spite of your seeming zest and vigor, you are dead! This is your wake-up call: because there is still hope (2). What is necessary to fan the dying embers into life again (3)?
Philadelphia (meaning “brotherly love”) was flattened by an earthquake in A.D. 17. To be chosen by Jesus as upright doors and pillars would have been a great encouragement. They were weak and small, yet they had persevered. So there is no “but” for this little church; instead they are given an open door because they had kept his word. Does this encourage you? Weak, small, yet strengthened by God.
Reflect on the promises contained in this chapter. What are the conditions for these promises? How can you meet these conditions? Do you need a heart adjustment?
My Father, I want to be victorious to the end. Help me to hold fast to You; I am Yours.