READ : Revelation 2:8-11
“You are rich!” Surely, there is no better evaluation a church could have than this! Any body of believers would love to hear these words from its Master!
The church in Smyrna didn’t look rich. Materially, it was poverty- stricken! It could not afford nice meeting facilities like many of us enjoy, and it may not have been able to pay its pastor. But Jesus understood. It was their commitment to Jesus that caused them to be physically poor! Smyrna was a prosperous city, and many of its citizens enjoyed what we might call the “good life.” Those who followed Jesus were excluded, however, because they refused to worship the Roman emperor. Being a Christian was costly. Even greater trial was ahead. Jesus warned that persecution to the point of imprisonment and even death was coming for these believers.
His word to them? “Do not be afraid…. Be faithful!” Loyalty to Jesus might bring suffering and death, but He has conquered death (v. 9), and He can promise that those who are faithful even to death will be rewarded with the “crown of life” and the “second death” (eternal judgment) will not touch them!
“You are rich!” May we hear these words as Jesus evaluates us! May we see that it is those who are faithful to Him, regardless of whether they are physically rich or poor, who are truly rich!
Lord Jesus, give us grace to always be faithful to You, no matter what it costs. Amen.