TOPIC: SMYRNA: THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Fire Scripture: Rev. 2:8-11 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.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Outline: MFM Devotional 15th September 2021
The second letter to the seven churches was to the church at Smyrna. Smyrna was a proud Asian city closely aligned with Rome and eager to submit to the emperor’s worship. Smyrna also had a large community of Jews that rejected Christ, though they claimed to follow God. In truth, they were under satan’s control and helped to create a hostile environment for the Christians. Polycarp, one of the most famous early Christian Martyrs (i.e. killed for his faith), was the Bishop of Smyrna. The persecution and the poverty of the Smyrna believers were extensive.
They were at the lowest point economically, yet Jesus said in His letter that they were spiritually rich. Let us note the contrast between them and the Laodicean church, which was very rich in material wealth, yet was considered spiritually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17; Matt 6:20; James 2:5). This simply implies that one may be physically rich but spiritually poor. These are Christians who never used their God-given resources to serve God who blessed them with same.
Beloved, to keep our Christian faith and lives in proper perspective, we should ask ourselves some salient questions: Is serving Jesus a matter of convenience for me, or does it truly cost me something? Can God trust me with any of the endowments upon my life: talents, gifts, wealth, skills and abilities? Am I serving God more for what I can get from Him, or for how I can surrender myself for His kingdom and purposes? Do I even recognise the fact that He kept me for His purpose, or and that He wants me to do His will and serve others too?
Am I selﬁsh with the blessings He has blessed me with? Out of the seven churches addressed by the risen Lord, only two passed His examination. One of them was the church at Smyrna. He did not ﬁnd anything against them. Can He ﬁnd any faults in you? Look inwards now and amend your ways. Decide to stand for Christ alone, no matter the hostility of your environment. Refuse to compromise (Rom. 12:2a). Don’t be conformed to this world. Rather, be conformed to heavenly standard (Gal. 3:1-2). No matter the persecution in this world, a crown of life awaits you in heaven (Rev. 2:10).
John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
I would be very happy to get persecuted, if only the Lord counts me worthy
I decree that the powers assigned to trouble your Israel shall perish, in the name of Jesus.
MFM DEVOTIONAL 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 HYMN: We have an anchor that keeps the soul
1. Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
2. It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand.
For ’tis well secured by the Saviour’s hand;
Though the tempest rage and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
3. When our eyes behold through the gathering night
The city of gold, our harbour bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heavenly shore,
With the storms all past forever more.
TODAY’S PRAYER POINTS
1. My Father, reveal more of Yourself to me, in the name of Jesus.
2. Invisible wall blocking my spiritual sight, crumble, in the name of Jesus.
3. O God, arise and give me the grace to follow You to the end, in the name of Jesus.
4. Anti-gospel power operating against my life, die, in the name of Jesus.
5. Every opposition to the spread and prosperity of the gospel in my environment, scatter, in the name of Jesus.
6. Witchcraft verdict against the church of Christ, scatter, in the name of Jesus.
7. Arrows of bewitchment, assigned to pull me down, I am not your candidate, backfire, in the name of Jesus.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Haggai 1; Haggai 2
MFM Daily Devotional 15th September 2021. The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) is a Pentecostal denomination founded in Yaba, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria in 1989, now with churches in several countries. It was founded by Daniel Kolawole Olukoya