A Brighter Tomorrow
Share: What are the things that make you feel alive?
We are looking at the letters Jesus himself sent to seven churches in Asia Minor. He referred to these seven churches as the seven golden lampstands because the role of the church is to be a bright light in a dark world.
This week Gene talked about a church in Revelation called Sardis and their struggles to stay dangerous and alive. This church had done a lot for the gospel, but they had recently found themselves dying and no longer a force for faith.
Have someone read Revelation 3:1-6.
What do you think God’s view of this church is based on what he says?
In the passage, God makes it clear that He’s not finished with Sardis, still has a plan to use them. He gives them hope along with practical things to work on to reverse what has happened. We can relate, sometimes feeling our faith is declining or even dying.
What advice did God give to Sardis to get them back to where they were before?
How could you mirror that in your own life?
“Wake up and strengthen the things that remain.” God points out there are still things they are doing well and they should focus on them before those die as well.
He also shares that there are people in Sardis who have been faithful and “have not soiled their garments”. He wants them to bring those people up and help lead the church back to what it was before. These are people God has set aside and who have been faithful to God.
He also tells them to “remember what you have received and heard, and keep it, and repent.” Remembering what God has done and how He has been faithful to His people will bring faith to another level. Not only to remember it but to keep it. The word “keep” here could be interchanged for “obey,” and the word obey here translates to tēreō in Greek. It means to watch over protectively, to guard, to maintain, to mark attentively. It is very intentional to not only remember but to guard, watch over protectively, and be attentive to, meaning to keep at the forefront of your mind when making decisions to move your church or personal walk with God forward.
Gene shared that if a church does not remain humble and teachable, if it doesn’t commit to submitting itself to being transformed through the Spirit continually, it will suffer. This is true for us as well. If we don’t humble ourselves and submit to the Spirit’s teaching and pressing, we won’t grow or be strong.
Have you felt the Spirit press on you to grow? How did it feel? What was the result?
Have you done the opposite of denying the Spirit? How did it feel? What was the result?
Have someone read Ephesians 3:14-21.
Paul writes to the church in Ephesus and makes a point to share with them how the strengthening comes from the Holy Spirit. The strength to do our day to day things and holy things needs to come from outside our own strength. If we are operating out of our own, we will run dry, get discouraged and weak. When we humble ourselves and submit to the Spirit and allow Him to work through us, it will give life to not only the work we are doing but ourselves at the same time.
Are you working out of your strength or through the Spirit? If not, what steps could you take to begin doing that?
Gene said, to become and remain a Dangerous Church we need to;
Wake Up and refuse to live in the past,
Strengthen our core values but stay open to fresh things God wants to do,
Remember what God has done and believe he can do more in the future,
Hold On to the primary mission of people,
Repent of spiritual sleepiness and live in awareness.
Break into two’s and spend time praying for our church and church leaders to embody these things and become dangerous tools for God’s kingdom and mission. Pray for areas in your life that you need to strengthen. Ask Him to reveal areas where you need to grow. Pray the Spirit will become more present in your life and for the courage to submit to Him.