I thought this was a particularly good chapter In Revelation.
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
I think it's important for us to remember that God knows everything about us! He not only knows us better then we could know ourselves, he knows what will happen in the universe around us because it is HIS awesome creation!
Recently, we had some pretty chilly days, and our family jokingly passes it off as global warming. :) Even to those who think that is true, or to those who are worried about all these helpless creatures that are dying, or all the polution that American's cause today, we have a God who's bigger than all of that! (Good thing for us!) Of course, we shouldn't ignore the problems, but we should keep our priorities straight.
*Just as a side note, I certainly don't have a problem with people who try to help the inviroment, (so long as their helping not worshiping it!) but I think it's wrong when people put so much time and energy into "Saving the whales!" when they have no problem with something such as abortion.*
"Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God."
We most certainly are not perfect creatures! Yes, God values us as his treasured child, but that is because he chooses to, not because we did something special to deserve his amazing love and affection.
"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
As I've mentioned, we, as humans, will sin! We need to be willing to admit this DAILY and be constantly looking at our lives for sins we need to repent for, and improve. We do not know when Christ will come! I don't believe anyone can "find out", although people may try. We need to be ready for when he comes. It could be tommorrow, or it could be in another million years!
Have you ever had a "suprise guest"? As soon as you saw that car drive up, or heard the doorbell ring, you were rushing around to pick up the toys all over the living room floor, scoop up the spilled cheerios, and unfinshed bowls of cereal in the kitchen, and make your house look as nice as possible for your visitor. (Come on and admit it. You've done this before!) :) Maybe you did clean fast enough, and your were somehow able to get everything picked up. But what would your house look like if your guest peeked into the nearest closet? Would he be instantly covered with a pile of trash, dolls, blocks, books, and random pieces of lego? Well guess what: God can see in all your little closets. He doesn't even have to open them up, but he can see them.
The fact is, we don't know when he will come, but we need to be ready for Christ when he does.. Don't just do it for the sake of "When Christ Comes!" He see's your life now, and he cares about how you use it and the things you fill it with.
"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
What an amazing thing to think about! Jesus, confessing your name before God, the Father and all the angels. Do you want it to be said of you that you are known for giving up, or do you want it to be said that with God's help: "You Overcame!"
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
It may not be easy to stand strong in the day of trial, but Christ will be there to guide us through our hardships. Do not deny Christ!
"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
Maybe you feel you are going through hardships. Have you considered the idea that it may be because God is trying to teach you something through the trial? Maybe it's because you needed to be chastised. As it says above, those who Christ loves, he will chasten. I love the last part of that verse: "Be zealous therefore, and repent!" [Exclamation added] It could also be because God wants to strengthen you and your faith. (James 1:2)
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Christ wants to spend time and have a relationship with you, but you need to be willing to accept his gift of salvation! Maybe you've been trying to find him but it all seems in vain; you just can't seem to succeed. The problem could be you're looking up, when he's standing by you the whole time.
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
We can overcome through Christ! May we look into our lives at what we need to change, and then go out and preach the gospel to others. We do not know when we will die or when Christ will come.
We not only should get ourselves ready, but take some others along with us!