The map shows the seven churches of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3
Words of Praise
All creatures that have breath and motion,
That throng the earth, the sea, the sky,
Come, share with me my heart’s devotion,
Help me to sing God’s praises high!
My utmost powers can never quite
Declare the wonders of God’s might!
1. The city of Sardis had a great interest in the imperial cult, stimulated by the generosity of Emperor Tiberius in rebuilding the city following an earthquake in AD 17.
2. The church had “a name of being alive, but was dead.” The nature of the church’s shortcomings is not clearly stated. The problem may have been that of the seed described in Matthew 13 – It fell on rocky ground and sprang up well enough, but wilted in the sun’s heat because the roots were shallow. There was a grave difference between the appearance of the church’s life and the reality of the situation.
3. However, there were “still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.” As often happens, a faithful remnant remained. These few are dressed in “white garments, heavenly and immortal bodies,” which are among the rewards given to martyrs in Revelation.
4. The Spirit encourages the church to “wake up and strengthen what remains.” It is helpful advice to any congregation – Do not become inattentive and indifferent. Go back to the basics. Build on who you are, on the strengths that you still have, relying on the most faithful leaders among you..
Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.