This weekend, we looked at the letter written to the church in Sardis, which had a reputation for being a sleepy city (Revelation 3:1-6). The city of Sardis was known, in the ancient world, for being a city that on two occasions “fell asleep at the wheel,” so to speak.
They were involved in two major conflicts and wars, and at both times they lost, because they stopped paying attention. They were lulled into a sense of complacency in which they thought they were fine.
Complacency breeds forgetfulness, which breeds difficulty.
And so, Jesus uses this theme of sleepiness to call the Sardis church to wake up! Multiple times, He calls them to wake up, pay attention and refocus. Because, sometimes the most dangerous place to be in any relationship is to assume it’s all okay – to stop working and investing, and to just coast. It’s a subtle danger that happens, and it overtakes this church in Sardis. And, it can overtake us in our lives too.
So, we ended with this main point: Wake up and be faithful.
Wake up in the important relationships all around you.
Wake up in your relationship with God.
Wake up in your marriage.
Wake up in your friendships.
Wake up in your commitment to your kids.
Because, “falling asleep” leads to things falling apart.
Practically, we applied this to the different relationships that we all have. I gave us three simple things to remember and act on from the text itself.
1) A Sign That You’re “Falling Asleep”
In any important relationship, one sign that you’re sleepy is when your actions and behaviours change – when you give up on those things that used to be important, like date night in a marriage, going to church in your relationship with God, or paying attention to the profit/loss balance sheet in business. These are signs and ways for you diagnose that you might have slipped into danger.
So, I challenged everyone to ask this question: Are there any behaviours that have slipped, but are important?
2) How to Wake Up
This comes from Jesus Himself when He reminds us that our actions matter and to return to the right ones (Revelation 3:2-3a). That’s how you wake up – by going back to what you used to do, like talking to your spouse, playing with your kids, or spending time with God.
3) How to Prevent “Falling Asleep”
In this letter, Jesus calls us to listen to the Spirit – to listen to what the He is saying to us. And, I think this is the biggest prevention to “falling asleep” – listening and following the Spirit’s guidance.
So, we ended with a challenge to wake up this week by spending time with Jesus asking Him this question: “God, where do I need to wake up?” To encourage this, we gave everyone a K-cup to go home with, encouraging you to spend one cup of coffee with Jesus asking Him where your need to wake up.
Because, when we wake up, good things happen.
Passage: Revelation 3:1-6
Big Idea: Wake up and be faithful.
a) “How did I end up here?” – the danger of drifting.
b) Context leads to better understanding.
c) When you feel safe and complacent, you stop paying attention to the things around you, and that’s when you drift.
d) The city of Sardis was conquered because they “fell asleep.”
e) Whenever you “fall asleep,” things can start to fall apart; drifting leads to disaster.
f) Your actions demonstrate where your beliefs will end up.
Challenge: Pray, “God, where do I need to wake up?”