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Perception above Substance; Reputation above Reality

Today’s reading: Jude 1-Revelation 3:13

My selection: Revelation 3: 1-2

 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.

My reflections: In these letters to the churches, there are several references to false teachings and teachers, sexual immorality, and lack of good works, problems that continue to plague the Church today.

Sardis shows a failure in the area of their works, but their problem is masked by the fact that they are known for being an alive, vibrant church.  The perception is that they are zealous and active.  The Lord tells them they are asleep and they are about to lose what they have. Judgment is imminent but they are resting on their laurels, on their press releases.

My challenge: It is commonly held in our society that perception is more important than substance, that as long as your reputation is good there is no need to back that up with reality.  This is not God’s view.

In your personal life and character, are you concerned more with impressing others or with walking with integrity before God?  God has called a people for Himself who are zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14).  Be fervent in doctrine and practice seeking to please God whether or not those around you are impressed.  Beware of the praise of men.

Tomorrow’s reading: Revelation 3:14-8:5

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