Today we’re back in the book of Revelation in the middle of Jesus’ messages to churches in Turkey (mmm, turkey...). He tells the church in a city called Sardis to repent of their reputation maintenance and instead to obey what they heard from Jesus. He tells his people in Philadelphia (not that Philadelphia!) to keep enduring patiently through whatever trial they are experiencing. And he tells the church in Laodicea to repent of their complacency.
Notice that the wealthy people in Laodicea, along with the status-obsessed people in Sardis, were told to repent, while those enduring hardship in Philadelphia were encouraged. The two churches that Jesus warned had been distracted from following him, one by wealth and the other by reputation.
The same can be true in our lives. If we have enough money, we might be tempted to think we don’t need God. If we obsess about our image and the way others see us, we may be tempted to do good things for the wrong reasons. And if we face hardship, we may be tempted to abandon Jesus for a life that is easier. In what ways do you get distracted from following Jesus? Based on this chapter what do you think Jesus would say to you? What can you do to keep yourself from being distracted from Jesus?
-Written for Verve by Mike Zimmerman