The Letter to Sardis

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The fifth letter written at the beginning of John’s Revelation, was given to the Church at Sardis. Sardis is a city located in between Thyatira (north) and Smyrna (south).  The church here had a significant problem with following through. Jesus says to them “nothing of God’s work has been completed” (Revelation 3:2, MSG). Christ even goes to the point of calling them “dead, stone dead” (Revelation 3:1, MSG). He is calling the church to come back to life and continue doing God’s work. He knows that they have the “can-do” spirit to get it done, but they have decided to stop working.

How many of us have this problem ourselves? I know that if I lose interest in a task, it may never get accomplished. But this doesn’t work when it’s God’s work we are doing. James writes in his letter, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (James:217, NLT). That’s what Christ was saying to the Church at Sardis, and it’s the same for us. We cannot simply say that we follow Jesus, and not do anything to progress the gospel (or even live it for that matter). Christ wants us to be alive in our faith, and we show that by doing things.

What can be done? Conveniently, Jesus himself told us how to live out the Gospel. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, NASB). We must keep God as our focus throughout our lives, and love Him. Then we are to care for others, because this is what Christ taught us to do, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45, NASB).

So let’s come back to life, and resume the work God has given us to do!

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