Lifescript Reflections


“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: “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. 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. “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.” ’
Revelation 2:8‭-‬11 NKJV

The plight of the church in Smyrna was summarized by the poverty they faced coupled with the threat of persecution. These were faithful people. A people who were obedient to God yet exposed to persecution.. Smyrna today is one of the largest city in Turkey… Izmir. A city that once hosted a vibrant Christian congregation converted into Islam after the Ottoman conquest. Three things Christ says to this church that stick out of the misery they seem to be going through. First, He reminds them in verse 9 that even though they are materially poor, they’re rich spiritually. Isn’t that where we all desire to be? Not necessarily. Spiritual wealth at times comes at the expense of materialism. Just as Christ alluded to the rich young ruler, the ball is on our courts. Shed off material wealth by giving it to the poor. Only then will we discover true riches in Christ. And you don’t need to be wealthy. In fact start small. In verse 10 Christ tells them not to fear because there were imposters in their midst who would sort of betray them to persecution. The Smyrna church held steadfastly to their faith. But this didn’t guarantee a life free of challenges. God allows us to face tribulations because it leads to the purity of our faith. But lastly, in verse 11, Christ reminds them to be faithful even to death for theirs is the crown of life. The truth of the matter is that persecution might lead to the death of some of us. I remember a story of a family whose loved one was unwell while in prison and they needed to get some medical supplies there. However, to do that they needed to part with a kickback which they didn’t do because their faith didn’t allow them to. Ultimately their loved one succumbed. They did the right thing but ended up losing a loved one because of being persecuted because of their faith. You say, ‘…but they could just have parted with some bribe and sought forgiveness later…’ But that’s not faith. That’s not obedience. Seeking to do God’s will may put us in harms way. But will that harm stop us from obeying Him? Not at all. The church in Smyrna followed, loved and trusted in God in spite of ‘losing out’ big time in man’s eyes. But ultimately, the heavenly crown was theirs. Picture that…

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