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. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, 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.
A reputation is just that – a reputation. It is not necessarily the truth. With God reputation means nothing because He fully knows the truth. Reputation is like Saran Wrap to God. We may cover ourselves with our ‘good’ reputation, but God sees clearly the contents of our hearts. For the church in Sardis, they had a good reputation… a reputation of being alive, but Jesus knew that they were dead. Their life and deeds were not complete in the sight of God. Jesus’ words to the church were: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains but is about to die.”
• Remember the Gospel message
• Obey it
• Repent from a life that is absent of true devotion to Christ.
I think of the recent Sprite commercials: “Image is nothing; Thirst is everything; Obey your thirst!” Nice marketing. Catchy. What’s the message to the church with a good reputation but has no deeds to substantiate it? “Reputation is nothing. Lordship is everything! Obey your Lord!” If people think well of you and you have a good reputation, but you don’t have the heart or character to substantiate your reputation – look out! Believing your own reputation will be spiritually dangerous for you.
I want/need to be a disciple who is true to the core. That my Saran Wrap of reputation would be evident to all. That what people think they see in me and what I think of myself would be consistent with the reality that God sees.
Lord Jesus, above all I want people to see You in me. Not a fake, surface representation of You in my life, but the real You living Your life through the real me. Increase my authenticity today. May I care far more about what You think about my character than what other people think. Make my good reputation a fruit of my walk with You. Make me unsatisfied with image, and fully satisfied with You as my Lord. Thank You for Your love which leads me to repentance and Your grace with makes growing in character possible. I worship You today.