“Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die—for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember, therefore, how you have received and heard and hold fast and repent. . .”
Truly, ours is a ministry of promoting, protecting and preserving.
Picture yourself, if you will, as a soldier-sentry assigned to a remote outpost. Your job is to look for any signs of the enemy. . .listen for any sounds of his advance, even in the darkest night . . .and to warn others of danger. Your failure to do so will certainly put others’ lives in jeopardy.
That’s the real meaning of the Greek word “gregoreuo” used in today’s Manna for “be watchful.” It basically means “to stay awake” and “to rouse from sleep.” And, dear Pilgrim, has there ever been a time when these are more needed?
In this day-and-age of accommodation, acquiescing, etc., how we need to “sound the alarm” when we “see a sword in the land” (Ez. 33:1ff). This will not be a popular ministry; neither will it be a short-term one. But, it is an eternally important one, for many precious souls hang in the balances of eternity, unprepared for the One Who will soon return.
It appears the church in Sardis had grown complacent and comfortable. Like the city in which she resided. . .which was heavily fortified and easily defended atop a rocky of Mt. Tmolus in western Turkey. . .she’d begun relying on her past accomplishments instead of maintaining her “fighting edge” spiritually. In the past she’d been a “Champion for Christ” and known as one of the strongest churches in Asia Minor.
But, now her faith was flabby and her service half-hearted.
She was trying to run on “autopilot,” if you will, forgetting the battle’s still raging.
That’s why Christ exhorts her (and us) to “be watchful.”
He also said “And strengthen (Grk. ‘sterizo’—‘set fast, turn resolutely in a direction, confirm, re-establish, etc.’) the things which remain, that are ready to die.” Or, another way to put it is, “Breathe new life into those things (beliefs and practices) that made you strong in the past. Get back to the basics.”
Oh, dear Pilgrim, how we need to hear and heed this message today!
Vigilance and invigoration go hand-in-hand! Woe to the believer and the church that believe you can let your guard down! The hour is late and the battle is raging—and “our works are not perfect (complete) before God.”
Therefore, “remember those things which you’ve received and heard. Hold fast to them. Repent of those attitude and actions that are offensive to Christ and dragging His precious Name/Blood underfoot.” That way we’ll need not worry He’ll “be as a thief in the night” to us when He comes (v.3b); instead, He’ll be the long-awaited Bridegroom, coming for us, His beloved Bride, the Church. Hallelujah!! Are you ready?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 14, 2010