Highlights In Today's Reading:
Heed the warnings as The Spirit speaks (1:3). Jesus claims His own (3:4-5). Sardis rebuked (3:1-6); Philadelphia rewarded (3:8-12); Laodicea sickening (3:15-19). Notice, Jesus knocks at our heart, but He won't come in until invited (3:20). Worship (4:1-11), then the Lamb is found worthy and the Chorus resounds (5:4-14).
The church at Sardis was warned: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead (3:1). We are reminded that Jesus said: Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:14). Since the Lord did not accuse them of having false teachers as He did the church at Pergamos (Pergamum), they could have believed the right doctrine, been baptized, and been members of a fundamental church.
Much of the activity, organization, and finances of the church in Sardis may have been admired by everyone, but Jesus Christ also said: Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee (Rev. 3:2-3). The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (I Sam. 16:7).
In reality, there were only a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of The Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels (3:4-5). Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (20:15). God always has His faithful few witnesses — even in the church of Sardis.
It is of utmost importance that our lives and attitudes be true expressions of His love ruling our hearts and lives. Our worship is meaningless unless our heart's desire is to please Him. Giving of gifts — or even sacrificial service — is unacceptable when it is not the expression of an inward devotion to our Lord.
The Lord both warns and promises: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of The Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7).
Thought for Today:
This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me (Matt. 15:8).
For Rev. 3:5: See Ex. 32:32. Rev. 3:12: See Is. 62:2. Rev. 4:2-3: See Ezek. 1:28. Rev. 4:5: See Zech. 4:2. Rev. 4:6: See Ezek. 1:22. Rev. 4:7: See Ezek. 1:10. Rev. 4:8: See Is. 6:2-3.
3:20 sup =feast, share spiritual food and fellowship; 4:6 beasts =living ones.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Carol & John Hipp • Staff: Pam Pendegrast • Government Officials: Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) • Country: Qatar (600,000) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally • 79.5% Muslim; 10.5% Christian; 7.2% Hindu; 1.8% Buddhist; .9% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Give praise to God that His Word will stand forever (Is. 40:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 28:19