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December 7, 2023 - Revelation 3:1-6

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis . . .” (3:1). Sardis had been conquered twice in its history, both times while watchmen neglected their duties. The church at Sardis must not mirror the negligence of those watchmen. The ESV Study Bible notes put it thusly: “Although Jesus’ rebuke identifies no specific source of attack, this congregation was similarly asleep, at death’s door.” Now, this church had a reputation of being alive, awake, on alert but the Lord knows the reality, that is, that they are on the brink of death. A good reminder that, whatever others think of us, God knows us intimately and nothing is hidden from his sight. They must be on guard, strengthening what is left. And they are able to do so because of the One who lives in them.


The writer of Hebrews gives similar counsel: “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:13-16).


Yes, our God sees and knows all our transgressions and sinfulness, even that which is hidden from others. But we, as the church at Sardis, have a great high priest through whom we receive mercy and grace!


Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,

leave the gloomy haunts of sadness;

come into the daylight’s splendour,

there with joy thy praises render

unto him whose grace unbounded

hath this wondrous banquet founded:

high o’er all the heavens he reigneth,

yet to dwell with thee he deigneth. -- Johann Franck (1649)

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