(Since the Laodicea part was covered at church a few weeks ago, I’ll focus on the other churches in the chapter. If you haven’t heard the sermon feel free to go to canyoncreek.ca and check out our podcast called “hot or cold”.)
I once joined a marching band in the 5th grade. I chose the drums since it didn’t require expensive rental fees (much like the clarinets or saxophones). All my parents had to invest in was some drum sticks and a practice pad — a small faux drum that barely made any sound.
I joined because it was what everyone was doing. There were 6 drummers, 5 saxophonists, 7 clarinetists, and so on. The band was full of people. It was cool to be in the band.
Until three weeks in when most of us 5th graders realized that band is a lot of work and it wasn’t as fun as we thought it was. So, there was a mass exodus from band and I wanted to be one of them.
My parents didn’t let me leave. They invested the $50 or so for me to be in band and I needed to stick it out. Which I didn’t like for a while. Until our first band concert.
I got to play a real drum and it was really cool. My parents came to watch and I felt pretty proud of myself. I had to stick it out and it turned out that it was worth it.
Revelation 3 continues with more letters to the 7 churches and I noticed something similar about Sardis and Philadelphia — Jesus mentions that there is a great reward for those who endure patiently and are victorious.
Do you think we got into Jesus and church because of what it could do for us? We wanted a better life, we wanted our kids to get help with their morals, we liked the vibe of the church etc.
But what happens when it stops being the fun thing and starts being the hard thing. The thing that makes life harder, not easier.
Sounds like this was happening to a lot of churches Jesus is talking to. They were being persecuted. It wasn’t easy to be a Christian. Life didn’t become “better”.
I imagine the good people, the victorious ones, weren’t Christians because it made life easier, but because they knew Jesus was Lord and knew the trials were temporary.
I heard the analogy that it is like a parachute on a plane. If you wore it to be more comfortable you would eventually take it off. But that’s not why people wear parachutes, they wear it because it saves their life if the plan starts to crash.
Take a moment to consider your heart when times get hard. Are you like Philadelphia or the few in Sardis who patiently endure? Who hold on because it is right not because it is easy? Because if that is you I want to remind you that the pain is temporary but the reward is eternal.
Blessed are you who are patiently enduring for Jesus.