“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto 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. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ Revelation 2:8-11
With the Church in Smyrna we find the Jesus has no condemnation only praise. This church was poor in the way the world thinks of poverty but rich in God’s blessings. They endured the troubles that the Church was going through during the first century. Christians were being imprisoned and put to death. They were asked to turn away from Jesus and when they refused they were tortured and killed. Jesus tells them to look ahead, that they will receive a crown of life.
What can we learn from the Church in Smyrna? First, that a church does not have to have a lot of money to be successful. Yes it is nice when a church can have programs geared to every age level, have a nice fellowship hall and maybe even a gym but these things are additions to not a replacement of the Gospel. I have attended many small churched that all they had was one small building but still managed to minister to their community.
God does not measure things the way man does. We want lofty building with stained glass and large screen monitors, rich carpets and plenty of things to do. Goad just wants us to worship Him with a humble heart. He wants to have a relationship with each of us. That relationship can be in a one room church or a huge multimedia worship center. He does not care where we come to Him, only that we come.
Have a great and blessed weekend,