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January 16, 2012

The church of Smyrna was located in a wealthy seaport city that was on the direct trade route from India and Persia to Rome. The wealth that surrounded them did not exist in this church; however, they were spiritually rich.

Jesus introduces Himself to this church by emphasizing His eternal nature, His death, and His resurrection. He knew the churches toil, persecution, and extreme poverty.

This church had no rebuke. They were commended for their faithfulness even to the point of death. They were informed of future persecution and told not to fear but to remain strong. A crown of life which comes to those who perseveres under trials will be given to the faithful. Finally, the believers who overcame fear and endured suffering would not partake of the second death, which is spiritual death or eternal separation from God.

Their characteristics and state were that of poverty and persecution.

For those of us that reside in countries that allow religious freedom and welfare to the poor, we cannot comprehend real suffering. We cry because of wants, pleasures, and someone talking about us. In this age, there are people living in countries where Christians who do not deny their faith are being slaughtered. For them, there is a constant struggle for the basic necessities of life. Let us remind our flesh, who fear and hate pain, and lack, that longsuffering which is part of the fruit of the spirit is in our life for a reason.



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