Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A Thought for Tuesday 8/6/13

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.  Indeed the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  Revelation 2:10 NKJV

Someone once said, Where there is faith there is the Lord; where there is fear there is the evil one.  Too often our initial reaction to things outside of our control is one of fear, of great concern.  We are concerned for our loved ones, we are concerned for our own financial well-being, and there is concern for our neighbors.  These seem to be trying and troubling times, but they are no more or less so than during any other period in human history.  What makes everything seem worse than perhaps it really is, is our reaction to the things around us.  When we react angrily out of some sense of fear and begin to slander those whom we believe responsible for our fears and concerns, we fail to realize we are only playing “their” game … on their terms.

Our Lord is offering comfort to the Church in Smyrna in terms of the persecutions surely to come their way.  Asking of the Church to be without “fear”, however, is a tall order regardless of the culture or the generation.  Fear is a natural response to anything that is perceived as a threat to our way of life; but real fear, paralyzing fear is that sure and certain absence of faith.  It is not the “enemy” that destroys us; it is the fear within us that does us the most harm and serves only to separate us one from the other until we find ourselves standing utterly alone.

The Church is not what we do – it is who we are as the Body of Christ, disciples of our beloved Lord.  When we are steadfast in our faith and in our care for one another, we testify to the community of the goodness and ultimate purpose of the Church, the Body of Christ alive and well within us and about us.  Things are going to happen that we can have no control over because we cannot control what other people do.  We can, however, control our own responses – and do so within the utmost assurance of our Lord that when we persevere to the bitter end – together! - we will receive our very own “crown of life”.

Hold on to one another, and support one another within the Church.  Reach out to those who live in constant fear so that we may show them the more Excellent Way, the Church, the Body of Christ – remembering it is not where we are on Sunday mornings; it is who we are 24/7.



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