6 “This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.
I’ve never been skydiving before and I’m not quite sure I’d want to either, but I admire those who do. To skydive (especially for the first time), you need to have complete trust in your instructor, gear and parachute. When it comes time and you are standing at the edge of the plane door and your instructor tells you to jump, your trust is tested again. Like I said, I’m not sure I would do it, but my hats off to those who do!
In relation to the letter to the Church in Smyrna: there are some difficult words to come in the following passages, but Jesus begins this letter by reminding us who He is and that we can fully trust in Him regardless of the things to come. I think we have figured out by now that a life of following Jesus is not and will not be all smelling roses. There will be some very difficult things to come. But do we trust him? Do you believe that He is the first and the last? That He knows what’s to come and will see you through. Do we believe He is King, Redeemer and Almighty? Do you trust that He has control of your parachute?
Thoughts for the day
- Do you completely trust God with every area of your life?
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Pray for focus; fix your eyes back to Jesus and acknowledge Him at the center of everything.