OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR AUGUST 10, 2022 (LETTER TO THE SMYRNAN CHURCH 1)
TOPIC : LETTER TO THE SMYRNAN CHURCH 1
MEMORISE: Isaiah 55:8
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
READ: Revelation 2:8-10 (KJV)
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
You may wonder if the Smyrna Church offended God, because He kept talking about them going through tribulations and being cast into prison without saying He would rescue them at any point. This letter in its wholeness, gives us a little insight into how God thinks.
Firstly, while it may seem like God cannot see when His children are being persecuted, He knows it all and He has a crown waiting for you if you endure to the end. Secondly, because Jesus knew that some of them would die as a result of persecution, He introduced Himself to them as the One who was dead and is alive. Jesus always relates with us based on what we are going through. He approaches us by letting us know that He has been through that situation before and overcame it. Hebrews 4:15 says;
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Whatever it is that you are going through now, Jesus has been through it before and He overcame. You will also overcome in Jesus’ name. Sometimes persecution can come from so-called Christians too. Jesus says you should remain faithful nonetheless. No matter what these people do, you are to look up to Him who is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Finally, we see God’s perspective of riches. Though these people seemed to be living in poverty, Jesus said “but thou art rich” (Revelation 2:9). To man, the rich ones are those with big cars and houses, but to God, the rich are those with great faith. (2 Corinthians 6:10) says that these are people who, though they may be poor, are rich because they are making others rich. These are the people storing up treasure in heaven by using all they have to spread the gospel of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:19-20). This is not to say that it is a sin to be rich materially, after all, God said He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6), and these were all wealthy men. Understand that, no matter how much money you have, you must never see financial wealth as your riches. You are only rich when you are rich in faith.
I challenge you to build your falth up so much that even Jesus Christ Himself would testify that you are rich in faith.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Isaiah 10 – 13
Hymn 2 – Conquerors and overcomers now are w
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