[PC-USA] 2005-04-29 - Letter to the Church at Smyrna

The Seven Churches, Part 2 - Smyrna

Revelation 2: 8-11

8 Write this to Smyrna, to the Angel of the church. The Beginning and Ending, the First and Final One, the Once Dead and Then Come Alive, speaks:

9 "I can see your pain and poverty--constant pain, dire poverty--but I also see your wealth. And I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good Jews, who in fact belong to Satan's crowd. 10 "Fear nothing in the things you're about to suffer--but stay on guard! Fear nothing! The Devil is about to throw you in jail for a time of testing--ten days. It won't last forever. "Don't quit, even if it costs you your life. Stay there believing. I have a Life-Crown sized and ready for you. 11 "Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death."

Christ's primary message to the church at Smyrna seems to be one of literal "Encourage"ment - urging them to not live fearful lives. While he was speaking to them about persecution, there are good general principles that apply to other areas of lives, as well. We live in fearful times. There was panicky fear of Y2K, which turned out to be groundless fear. There is fear of crime (sadly a realistic one in some places), fear of disease, fear of death and more.

There's nothing wrong with being careful of our safety or health - or in any other way. In fact, to not take care of all God's gifts of family, health, homes etc. would be poor stewardship. I have deadbolt locks on my house, airbags in my vehicles - and gratefully take advantage of the other protections God provides.

But there is a balance here. While it's wise to take measures to be careful, we shouldn't be consumed with fears, let them be the dominating force in our lives, nor cause them to lead us to take illegal steps. We should do our part - but then try to release them to God. This may involve a process of re-releasing and continuous prayer - and in some instances counseling, or removing ourselves from situations that engender constant fears.

Let those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit said to the church at Smyrna.

Comments or Questions?
Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org