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August 7 – A good name

“Hold fast, and repent.” – Revelation 3:3

Scripture reading: Revelation 3:1-6; Isaiah 42:1-9

A lot can be said about a good reputation, but while a good name is better than riches (Pr. 22:1), reputations aren’t always accurate. As a city, Sardis was surrounded by 1500 foot cliffs and thought to be nearly impregnable. But twice in the history of the city, its reputation proved false, and both times it was the presumption of the defenders that led to their destruction.

The church of Sardis was experiencing the same reality. Thinking themselves strong, they were actually distant from God. While their singing may have made visitors think the church was on fire, behind the beautiful voices were cold hearts. The same can be true for all of us; the profession of faith made years (or even days) ago can speak of a reality that is no longer there.

Jesus calls us to be watchful and to strengthen the spiritual zeal we may still have. Where do we still feel the conviction or encouragement of His Word and Spirit? Where it exists, fan the flame. What you know to be good, do it. What you know to be evil, stop it. For all who do His will, God promises, He will not quench the smoking wick or break the bruised reed. The Christian life can be restored so that, like a repentant Sardis, Jesus would even boast of us before the Father. May God help us not to live on reputation, but by a living, daily walk with Him.

Suggestions for prayer

Lord, please renew me to abide daily in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Greg Bylsma is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and he is currently serving at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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