Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” (2 Cor. 10:18).
READ: 2 Corinthians 10:12-18
After Jesus introduced Himself in His letter to the church in Sardis, He said they were reputed for being alive whereas they were dead. Yet, these were a part of the Body of Christ. Is it possible to be dead and not know it? From scriptural evidence, it is possible. The first thing to note here is that the church in Sardis employed wrong yardsticks for determining who was spiritually alive and who was not. Anytime wrong measures are used in assessing performance, the results will always be deceptive. Today, there are church leaders who engage in so much of fanfare to create an impression that they are ‘alive’. Spiritual activity does not necessarily make you alive. There are many who are so full of spiritual activities but they are so canal and close to hell. It is the height of deception to equate activity with spirituality. Some activities feed the flesh but starve the soul. This is why leaders must not plan programmes just for the fun of it, but to achieve spiritual uplift in members. Any church programme that does not add spiritual benefit of the congregation is simply a jamboree. What is the spiritual content of the programmes you are planning? If that choir vigil is all about talking, socializing and laughing, without spiritual content, do not be surprised to hear that some who attended fornicated that night.
The error of the church in Sardis is still with us today. They wanted to be seen to belong. When you want to belong, your focus shifts from Christ to man. You will do anything just to get the attention or praise of men. Anything you do to impress men rebuffs the Lord. The approval of man does not necessarily mean God has also approved. Who do you really want to impress? Who are you trying to impress by inflating attendance figures and lying about your performance? The church at Sardis met the requirements of men and was rated as a lively church, but the Owner of the church could not find any atom of spiritual life in it. Large churches easily fall into this deception. The size of your church does not make you better than smaller churches. In fact, it is easier to receive greater spiritual life from smaller churches than the ‘happening’ larger churches. What are the parameters for evaluating your performance? Are you God-focused or men-focused?
Ask God for wisdom to not be self-deluded, but that you will see yourself the way God sees you. Go before God in humility and sincerity.
Bible in One year: 2 Chron. 17-19