OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
DATE: THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH 2022
THEME: LETTER TO THE SMYRNAN CHURCH II
MEMORISE: And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
READ: Revelation 2:8 -11
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Jesus assured the Smyrna Church that even though they could experience painful physical death, because they were serving Him, they would have no part in the second death, if Jesus could use this as a consolation, it is then very clear to us that the second death is more hurtful that the physical one.
This is why I pity those who would rather sin than experience some pain for the sake of the gospel. The physical death is not what you should fear but rather, the spiritual one (Matthew 10:28). The physical death will last a short time, but the spiritual one is for eternity.
Some people want to do greater things than Jesus did but are not willing to suffer like him. Paul said:
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;; Philippians 3:10
You cannot fully know Jesus without partaking in the fellowship of His suffering. If you are only with Jesus for the goodies but will run away to the devil once the going gets rough, then you are not worthy of His crown. If you don’t love Him enough to surrender your life to Him, then you are not worthy to receive His eternal life. He said:
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:25
The real life you should hold firmly to with all your might is eternal life. Don’t let anything be too big for you to sacrifice here on earth so as to avoids he second death. Jesus, in the letter to the Church in Smyrna says that He expects us to be faithful until death. Many have not even been confronted with death and they are already unfaithful. Are you one of those! Are you truly faithful to God even in the midst of trials and temptations around you? Today is a good day for you to repent from your unfaithfulness. If you refuse to repent, don’t expect to enter heaven at all because Jesus said if you deny Him here on earth, He will also deny you in Heaven (Matthew 10:33).
Father, please help me never to deny You again. No matter what temptation I pass through, Lord help to remain faithful to You.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 14-19
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A ADEBOYE
Hymn 29: WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD IN THE STORM OF LIFE
1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
2 It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy the blast, through strength divine.
3 It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
4 It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil.