Yesterday, I was reading in Revelation 3 and came upon this passage from Jesus’ words to the seven churches:
1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
This passage convicts me because so many times in the church we like to consume the latest sermons, tweets, and podcasts and afterwards say, ‘wow, that was challenging’ or ‘wow, that was really good’ and we step back and admire this little nugget of truth like a work of art in a museum.
The problem with doing this is that truth is not just to be admired but it is meant to change us. I remember a friend of mine used to challenge me by saying, ‘Don’t just ask someone ‘what are you reading in the Bible?’ but rather ‘How is God’s Word changing you?’
So often I start something or God starts to really reveal something in my life and I stop the process. Jesus is telling us to strengthen what remains and to complete the deeds we started. Maybe it’s time to just take a simple verse or a simple line from a praise song or a simple command from the Gospels and allow it to penetrate deeper in your life.
Instead of learning something new today, what about actually doing something with the knowledge we already possess. Maybe that action step is praying for a lost friend or inviting someone to church or resolving a conflict with a friend or praying with your spouse or starting something that God has been prompting your heart about, etc. I believe that an obedient action today from you and me would be worth more than learning 20 amazing new theological truths and doing nothing about them.