Tuesday, 6 October 2020
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’ Revelation 3:6
As in the concluding words of the Lord to those in Thyatira (verse 2:29), these words here, and for the final two churches (Philadelphia and Laodicea), come at the very end of the epistle. However, this statement also preceded the note to those who overcome in the letter to the first three churches.
Regardless of the location, the words beg the reader to stop and consider what has been said. In the case of the letter to Sardis, theirs was a dead church, little was left of value and the Lord encouraged them to strengthen those things. His call is for the church to remember and repent, or he will come upon them as a thief.
The good news, at least for some, was that there were a few people left in the church who held fast to Christ. Of them, a note of the surety of their salvation was provided. He then noted to the whole church that any of them could join those few worthy souls by overcoming. This is the state of things in Sardis, and it is the state of many churches today. They are dead and their end is near if they don’t repent. But even in those bad churches, there may be people who truly love Christ Jesus.
Life application: Although we all have ears, we all don’t always listen. Having a physical attribute is no guarantee that it will be used. If you have ever done something unusual for the first time, for example, water skiing, you will find that the muscles you don’t normally use will hurt the next day. If you’re not used to studying, when you attend a college class for the first time, your brain will feel overloaded. If you are not normally a public speaker and you are asked to give a presentation, you very well may have a sore throat the next day. All of this occurs because you are using a part of you that is not normally exercised.
In the same way, when we don’t pay heed to spiritual things, we get dry, cold, and lethargic in our spiritual lives. Jesus asks us to wake up from this spiritual condition, open the spiritual ears of our souls, and “hear what the Spirit says.”
How many times have you picked up the Bible, read a passage, and put the Bible back down without it changing you at all? The words went into your eyes, passed right around your brain, and disappeared into the ether. Unless we combine the reading experience with the mental and spiritual process of thinking through what is being said, we miss the most valuable part of our interaction with God, His word, and the influence of the Holy Spirit.
When you read the Bible, take a moment to pray and ask God to open the eyes of your heart to a deeper understanding of what He is presenting. Hear what “the Spirit says to the churches.” The words are not only for the individual church being addressed, but for all people throughout the Church Age and in every denomination. Every heart should be open to what God is relating through the pages of the Holy Bible.
Yes, Lord! Open our hearts and give us minds of wisdom to understand the spiritual applications that are being presented in the Bible. If this is truly Your word, and it surely is, then it has the power to change us, to mold us, and to direct us in wonderful ways that will bring glory to You. And therefore, may it be so. Amen.