While finishing my time at Southwestern Adventist University, it was suggested that I visit a psychologist or counselor as part of a mental health checkup. Many people have a stigma about this because we are made to feel that only “the crazies” seek out professional help. I went, and it was very beneficial to me. I received some good advice that helped me work on some deficiencies that I had unknowingly been developing.
Some times we have deficiencies and don’t know it. We let ourselves be so consumed by our “normal” routines that we don’t pause to self-examine our lives. This was the state of the church in Sardis. Jesus told the church;
“you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God” Revelation 3:1-2, NIV
Sardis was not always a healthy church. At one point in their history Sardis was healthy and thriving, but it became very sick as time went by. The amazing grace that we have in Christ is that He never leaves us lacking. Jesus always provides a source of counsel to help restore His people. “The remedy to the situation of this church is to ‘remember,’ to go back to the source, to listen, to hear God through His Word made alive by His Spirit. To those who give heed to the invitation, the ultimate covenant blessing of being Jesus’ companions is granted.” – Diop, Ganoune. “Jesus Christ in the Midst of His People: A Study of Revelation 1:9–3:22.” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society.
Dr. Diop tells us that the solution is a faithful return to God. The church of Sardis had drifted away from all they had originally learned. It was similar to the church of Ephesus that lost its first love. A Christian that finds something out of place in their journey toward God will need to return to the source of life. If they do not, the results can be disastrous.
My counselor shared with me some things that I could work on. As I did, I felt much better about myself, and the trajectory of my life. When God reveals things to us it is up to us to act. This week we will be studying the complete message to the church at Sardis, but most importantly, we will be looking at the bravery required to self-examine.
May we all find the courage necessary to overcome in the name of Jesus! If we do there are great things in store for all of us.
Grace and Peace,