Revelation 3:2-3 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

Waking up physically usually involves turning off my alarm clock. But if I want to wake up spiritually, I've got to remember some things. What should I recall, Lord? Jesus spelled it out for us, just as He did for His church in Sardis. First, we must remember "what [we] received" (Revelation 3:3). What did I receive? Paul asked, 'What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). I love stuff that's easy to understand. This is one of those cases. What do you have that you did not receive? The answer doesn't require higher math — it's nothing! Everything that we have fits in the category of received. James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." What do you have? Everything you can see around you — and the eyes you use to see —you received. Every relationship in your life — husband, wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren — received!

So you want to wake up spiritually? "Remember...what [else] you received." You received the Gospel! You received the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. How did you get in on it? You're like, "I don't know. I don't deserve it. I didn't earn it. It just showed up. He just grabbed me."

Second, we must remember "what [we]...heard." We pray, "Wake me up, Jesus!" How does that happen? By remembering the things that you have received and heard. Revelation 3:3 then adds "Keep it." "Keep it," as in put what you know and remember into practice.

You're like, "I haven't been keeping it, James. I know the truth, but I haven't been living it." Well, your awakening is right there in the text: "repent". Do it right now while you are reading. As the Spirit of God is stirring in your heart, just pray, "I've been wrong. I've been selfish, self-indulgent, and sensual. I've been worldly. I've been distracted. I've been mean-spirited — I've been forgetful!" I don't know exactly what you have been; I just know what I've been. And we need to repent of spiritual deadness: "Sorry, God. I'm wrong; You're right...again."

—James MacDonald