“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3:1-6
Having a good reputation is important; resting on one’s laurels is bad for the individual or a church. Today we see the church in Sardis being called out by Jesus as a dead church. They had a great reputation as a church that was alive but it seems this was history. In fact Jesus has nothing good to say about this church.
Sometimes we get complacent. We had a lot of success and now we are coasting on the success. The problem with coasting is that eventually you came to a halt. You end up standing still and wondering why everybody is passing you by.
This church reminds me a little of the church I grew up in. it was a small but vibrant church that drew from the surrounding neighborhoods. People were active. The church was filled with children and the pews were full on Sunday mornings. Then people began to move to other neighborhoods and the surrounding area began to change. Rather than welcome the new neighbor into the church the old members wanted things to stay the same. After all things had worked well for almost 40 years, nobody could see any reason they still would not work.
Little by little more and more young people were moving and the older members were moving on to a higher address. Attendance plummeted and there were fewer and fewer children. Some call out for a change, that the church start an outreach to the community. For many years that was resisted.
The good news is that finally an outreach was started and the church has begun to grow again. It is a slow process and the church may never regain its former vibrancy but it once again has a pulse.
Individual too can stop their spiritual growth. If you are not involved in Bible study, alone and in a group you need to get back to it. If we are not growing we will begin to wither away.
Have a blessed day,