The suffering church…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REV 2: 8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

I constantly read the letters from Jesus to the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation. I look and see the good things Jesus says and the not so good things He says about them and I examine His church here in Secret Harbour. The aim is to check ourselves, check myself as to how we align with how Jesus wants His church to be! The letter to Smyrna is the smallest letter to the smallest church that I love the most. I just see Jesus tenderness and His love for this fellowship so clearly, so distinctly. What a wonderful group of people they must have been. They suffered tribulation, poverty and infiltration by false brethren. But in addition, they also suffered, were imprisoned and many died.
It just makes me wonder what sort of people I would have seen as I attended their service and what would have been the atmosphere of their gatherings? I know I would not feel worthy to be in their midst!

I ask myself how similar and then how different are we from the Christians in the small church at Smyrna? What would they sense in attending a service and meeting the people of Calvary Chapel Secret Harbour?
We obviously will never really know the answers to such hypothetical questions but I know I am to learn from this letter written by our Lord.

What does the Holy Spirit say to you as you read this letter?

We live in a time sadly of great selfishness and “me’ism”, which has crept into the church of Jesus Christ today. There are over  238 verses in the KJV, including 53 exact phrases of the term one another, in the Bible. Never is the term ‘me another’ ever mentioned. I think the church at Smyrna and the saints who attended it would have been massive one another people!

Would you read and pray over this amazing letter and allow its words to make you a believer who would have fit beautifully into this amazing little church?

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