John Bradshaw - Sardis and King Midas
The ancient city of Sardis was located at or near the end of a royal road, which ran 1700 miles away to the palace of king Artaxerxes. That's where Esther lived and Nehemiah. Sardis is famous for the first gold coins ever used. The gold came from the Pactolus river, it's really a Creek today, and how it got there is interesting.
The legend is that king Midas asked the god Dionysus or Bacchus to grant that whatever he touched would turn to gold. Midas lived in frigid the next province over from Lydia where Sardis is. And when Midas figured out that his new gift was a decided disadvantage, everything turning to gold, he asked the god to reverse the curse, which he did, telling Midas to wash in the Pactolus river. And that's where the gold came from.
Of course that's just a legend, but what was true for the church of Sardis is what Jesus said to them in the Book of Revelation: "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect [or fulfilled] before God", Revelation 3:2.
What can happen, and what happened to the church of Sardis is that your enthusiasm for the gospel can slacken over time. It doesn't have to be that way, but while we're on this earth to get ready for eternity, the devil's agenda is to work away at you so that you have less altar for God, less vitality about the things that really matter.
What's not a legend or a myth is that Jesus is coming back soon. And he who created gold has a crown of gold, and streets of gold for the redeemed. Don't get distracted: there's one thing ultimately that really matters, and that is saving faith in Jesus Christ. I'm John Bradshaw, for It Is Written. Let's live today by every word.