Read Revelation 3:1-6
This week, we are seeking to grow in authenticity. From our reading today, it is my hope that you take away two important truths. Let me introduce both of them here up front:
- Our church has a reputation.
- What others think is not what matters most.
Now, let’s pause and examine these truths in more detail. As the glorious Son of God spoke to an exiled apostle, He invited John to write seven letters to seven churches that existed at that time…around 90 a.d. The affirmation and exhortation extended to those churches have application for churches today.
As attention was directed to the church in Sardis, Jesus said, “…you have a reputation of being alive…” Reputation is not just a personal thing, you see. This church likely had a history of passionate engagement for the cause of Christ. Others knew of the activity. In fact, as others thought about the church at Sardis, they apparently thought to themselves, “Now, that church is alive!”
I wonder…beyond your own personal reputation…what is the word on the street about your church? What do people say about my church, Grace Church in Wooster, Ohio? How would people complete this sentence? “That church is _________!”
But, as outlined earlier, the word on the street about a person or even a church is not the final word. Even though the Sardis church had a reputation for strong, passionate, attentive service for Christ, the Savior knew otherwise. Even though their reputation may have once been accurate, Christ had the defining perspective. The truth was, they were dead. They needed to wake up, experience revival, and finish what He had called them to do.
If you were to set aside what others think for just a moment, what would be Christ’s assessment of you / your church? Psalm 139 gives us words that express a prayer of vulnerability. Would you pray them today in sincerity?
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV)