No one likes a fake. We value authenticity in the people we spend our time with and the products we consume. Yet we rarely discuss our own fraudulent behavior. Like knock-off watches or plagiarized speeches, we can manage our reputations with well-placed comments and little white lies. We can even fabricate our spiritual lives to appear more holy, devout, or put together than we really are. How do we get the real thing? How do we become the people we want to be? Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series in the Book of the Revelation.
“(Sardis is) a church quietly drowning in its own inoffensiveness, unable to believe that its reputation for being alive is no longer deserved.”
“Moral and spiritual vigilance is God’s appointed way to glory. Self satisfied presumption will fall.”
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
CONFESSION OF SIN:
Most merciful God,
Whose Son, Jesus Christ, was tempted in every way, yet without sin,
We confess before you our own sinfulness:
We have hungered after that which does not satisfy;
We have compromised with evil;
We have doubted your power to protect us.
Forgive our lack of faith;
Have mercy on our weakness.
Restore in us such trust and love
That we may walk in your ways and delight in doing your will.
We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
SONG TO CONSIDER:
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel vision, no op’ning skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.
Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach me to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!
Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The presence of Thy descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
Words: George Croly, 1854
Music: Karl Digerness, 2006
©2006 Karl Digerness Music