Christ Speaks to Seven Churches in Asia Minor


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Luke 12:15 says, "A man's life consisteth not in abundance of the things which he possesseth." Matthew 6:19-20 tells us that the man who lays up riches in heaven is rich indeed. In Hebrews 10:34 God commended the Hebrew Christians because in a time of persecution they "took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." They had little of the world's goods and they were hungry and oppressed unto death, and Christ commended them for their faithfulness.
The church at Smyrna was poor in the world's status and goods, but Jesus states they are rich. What is seen outwardly as poverty is not necessarily what it seems! The ones who were in real poverty, never let you know it! Few in our churches today are a poor as were the Smyraeans. In spite of their poverty they were a vibrant church on fire for the Lord. They were poor in worldly goods, but rich in the Lord. In contrast today many churches are rich in worldly goods yet starved spiritually and that is why so much of the potential ministry goes lacking.
Their attitude towards material possession was that all they had including their very lives belonged to the Lord. They were like the Macedonians who Paul commended for giving out of their great poverty. (2 Cor. 8:1) These saints of God gave sacrificially more than they really could and literally took the food from their tables and coats off their backs in order to support the work of God. First and foremost they gave of themselves, totally! The spirituality of a church can be judged in direct proportion to its giving. It's like a spiritual thermometer.
Many excuses are given as to why people to not support God=s work through their local church. Many claim they cannot give because they are too poor. The example of the believers in Smyrna and Macedonia remove this as being a legitimate excuse. The Bible instructs the believer to give his offerings to the Lord, yet the unspiritual refuse and can't see how they can trust God to do as He says or believe his promises.5 When they have needs or sickness comes and they cry for God's help, yet many will not trust God with few dollars a week. Those that first give themselves wholly to the Lord have no trouble with giving and that is the people God uses to carry on His work. AI beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).
No one should be comfortable or secure in a faith that says it believes God to forgive their sins and save them, yet cannot trust God in sacrificial giving. (See 2 Sam. 24:24)

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