Daily Reading and thought for December 22nd. “I KNOW YOUR WORKS”


Today we complete reading the seven letters that are sent to 7 churches.  These are contained in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation.  Each letter begins with the words, “I know thy works,” that is, our deeds.  The letters are dictated by Jesus (Ch.1 v.17,18).  The churches are described as “Lampstands” [1 v.20].  Their responsibility is to illuminate the darkness in the world, to set the example because their members know that “your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” [Psalm 119 v.105]

Some are effective in doing this, some are not. The latter fail to realize that Jesus knows their works – and these must be works done in genuine faith.  Some think they are working well and are blind to the fact that Jesus does not think so – indeed, he sees them as “dead.”  The church at Sardis is a case in point! (Remember, church means the congregation – not the building).

Jesus says, “I know your works. You have a reputation (name) for being alive, but you are dead.” [3 v.1]  They were not seeing what they were doing in the spotlight of God’s word. However he says, “yet you have a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” [v.4]   These are the “garments of salvation … the robe of righteousness” [Isaiah 61 v.10] we received when our sins were washed away and we committed our lives to Christ in baptism. (Romans 6 v.4-19)

Revelation describes this as “fine linen, bright and pure” [Ch. 19 v.8].  So there are a few in Sardis who really know that their Lord sees all and knows all.  With his help they stay spiritually alive.  Of such Jesus says, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments and I will never blot his (or her) name out of the book of life. I will confess his name (reputation) before my father …” [v.5].  What will be confess of us? These 7 letters contain a tremendous range of food for spiritual thought making us reflect on the fact that Jesus knows our works. 

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