Gracious Lord, sometimes I am petulant and the next moment praising You. Help me to be grateful to You.
Read REVELATION 3:1-6
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” And it’s true!
Among the joys of parenthood, one of the things that frustrates me occurs when I tell my children something, only to have to say it again. How many times have I told them, “Don’t put your drink on the floor!” What I have noticed as I have continued as a Christian is how often I forget things that I learned years ago when I first came to faith! This was the situation in Sardis.
Sardis itself had become fabulously wealthy under the kingship of Croesus, because of gold found in nearby rivers, but the congregation in Sardis is not rebuked for being proud. The cult of Cybele had flourished there, with wild sexual orgies, but the congregation is not rebuked for immorality. Sardis had (and still has, in ruins) an amazing “acropolis,” an upper city fortress, 1,500 feet high, which looks impregnable, but the Christians were not rebuked for being complacent. The city had been captured in 546 bc by Cyrus the Persian, by means of a single narrow entrance in the cliff, through which a soldier went and then unlocked the gates from the inside while the city slept. Remarkably, the city fell to Antiochus the Great in 214 bc by exactly the same method—the city had forgotten the earlier lesson!
Jesus’ rebuke to the congregation of Sardis is that they are asleep and need to wake, but the positive command is to remember: “Remember … what you have received and heard” (3). Remembering is at the core of Christian faith—remembering what God has done for us in Christ is the central act of Christian worship. Someone once said: “Christianity is very simple; all you need is some bread, some wine, a memory and a vision.” A key spiritual discipline is to remember the things God has taught us and continue to live in them.
Are there things you learned some time ago, which you have now forgotten in practice? What are the things you are learning now, which you need to remember?
Merciful Lord, I know I can be a slow learner. I have been repeating mistakes I made in earlier years. Forgive me and redirect me, I pray.