Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lenten devotional

Revelation 3:1-6
If the Christian life is all about God’s grace and our inability to please God on our own, what is all this talk of works in Revelation? Obedience and repentance??? The good news is God know us intimately, better than we know ourselves. We can’t fool him. The church of Sardis had a “name of being alive” (v. 1), but instead they were dead. The outside looked good, but what was on the inside? Remember Jesus telling the Pharisees “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27 NIV).

What preventative measure is there for this problem? We must carefully tend the garden of our inner life. Those in Sardis and the Pharisees had it reversed. The outside looked great and the inside was full of death and decay.

The inner garden is a delicate place, and if not properly maintained it will be quickly overrun by intrusive undergrowth. God does not often walk in disordered gardens. And that is why inner gardens that are ignored are …empty. Bringing order to the spiritual dimension of our private worlds is spiritual gardening. It is the careful cultivation of spiritual ground.

That was the predicament of the church in Sardis. They had let the weeds grow and choke out the life in their inner spiritual garden. May God help us to water and fertilize his living word in the garden of our hearts.

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