Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. – Rev. 3:2 NIV
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The disciple John was in prison in the Island of Patmos when the Almighty God showed him the spiritual state of the seven churches in the Province of Asia – Jn. 1:4. There was none that was perfect as each had one area or the other that the members needed to work on in order for them to be in tune with their God. What seemed like the report sheet of the Church in Sardis is the foundation text of today’s devotion. They were told to:
1. Wake up! – Is. 52:1. Obviously, it was not that they were sleeping physically, if anything, they may be actually more physically active than they have always been but the truth is that spiritually, nothing significant is noticed or accounted to them. Their spiritual life is not different from that of someone who is inactive. They seemed to have forgotten what they received and it is gradually slipping from their hands. Today’s scripture says their work is about to die.
2. Strengthen what remains and is about to die – Matt. 17:20. In the process of sleeping spiritually and what they received, consequently falling from their hands, they have a little remaining but it is better late than never. Whatever spiritual energy left can still be the energiser to get them back to where they used to be before that too slips off. They will need to apply positive and productive efforts into what still remains so that they can get back to where they were hither to.
3. They had works but which were unfinished. There earlier activities had earned them some works but they were unfinished and so could not be credited as works for them. They had works like they did not have because unfinished work is like no work. The reward is not for those who start the work but for those who finish it successfully – 2Cor. 8:10-11.
Sometimes, it can be a bit curious when one discovers that unknowingly, a group of people find themselves being involved in the same act unconsciously. In this case majority of the members of the church in Sardis had slept off spiritually. These were a people who were acknowledged by the Almighty God and had reputation with men to be pace-setters in Christian matters (Rev. 3:1) but probably felt they had done enough or for some other reasons were no longer living up to that reputation. They were admonished to remember what they heard and received, hold unto it fast and revert to what they were doing previously else, his arrival which will be like a thief in the night may not bring a good experience for them.
Most Christians today are like the members of the Church in Sardis. They actually started strong but today have with several reasons unrelated to God, convinced themselves, on why they should become very cold toward things of God, thus leaving their works unfinished. Do not render all those works done earlier useless because they have been left unfinished. Until He tells you that you are done, you cannot be done. You need to keep working until you get to the point of deserving a reward.
Such Christians should take a cue from other Christians who have refused to be discouraged and have continued in their diligence to the things of the Lord. Like the members of the Church in Sardis who have followed such path;
1. They will walk with Jesus Christ, dressed in white, for they are worthy – Rev. 3:5a; Rev. 7:9-17. This became possible because, the process of persevering till the end and overcoming, washed their clothes and made white in the blood of the lamb. The scriptures says that;
a. They will be before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple.
b. The Almighty God will shelter them with his presence.
c. They will never hunger or thirst again.
d. The sun or the scorching heat will not beat down on them, because the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd.
e. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
All the above because they remain steadfast with their God till the end.
2. Jesus will ensure that their names are never blotted out from the book of life – Rev. 3:5b. That is the record that holds the names of all those who will inherit eternal life. It means that their position in that book will be well secured irrespective of what may happen subsequently.
3. Jesus will acknowledge their name before his Father and his angels – Rev. 3:5c, Matt. 10:32-33
What a great reward to look forward to, for being diligent in worship. You have started your journey well, do all you can to finish well so, like Paul you can be confident of a crown of glory waiting for you on that day – 2Tim. 4:7-8. May that be your testimony in Jesus name. Amen.