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Do Not Fear but Have Faith

Realize the beauty and privilege of exchanging your life for His, as Jesus desires to live His life through you.

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from Revelation 2:10, ” 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. “

Background

There is that old Jerry Clower joke about the amazing hog, or ” hawg ” as he pronounced it. Uncle Ledbetter’s nephew stopped by his farm one day and noticed his uncle had a hog with a wooden peg leg. So his nephew asked Uncle Ledbetter how the hog came to have a peg leg. Uncle Ledbetter explained that several months ago the hog raced into their burning home and saved him and his wife from perishing in the fire. A short time later, two small kids were playing in the pond nearby and began to drown, and the hog jumped in and pulled them both to safety. That was all wonderful, said the nephew, but it still didn’t answer the question about the wooden leg. Then Uncle Ledbetter explained that with a hog that amazing, you just can’t eat him all at one time. I’m not quite sure exactly how that tale relates to our verse today, except that a hog on a farm has one ultimate purpose. Its end is to be food for the family, either directly on their dinner table or through the money they would make in selling it. It may go one ham at a time as in our joke, or the more usual way of all at once, but its destiny is the same.

Application

The members of the Smyrna church got word from God that things were going to take a turn for the worse real soon. Many would be thrown into prison, and ten days of virtual hell would descend upon them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the suffering would not end until some of them lost their lives. Their days were numbered, and whether it was one part at a time or all at once, the end for some was going to be fatal. It’s a brutal picture that God painted for them very plainly through John’s pen. And of the seven churches he wrote to, the Smyrna congregation got the shortest letter. No fluff, and no sugar-coating it. God was expecting some of them to die for Him, and He was calling for them to remain faithful. I don’t know if you’re down a ham already or not, but God is pleading for you to remain faithful, for a testing is bound to come. But so is that crown of life.

Charge

As we seek Him today, realize the beauty and privilege of exchanging your life for His, as Jesus desires to live His life through you.


AuthorRich Holt | BCWorldview.org 

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