James’ letter found in the New Testament is likely the earliest of all the writings in the New Testament. It is filled with straightforward and practical teaching about the faith of followers of Jesus Christ. James refuses to pull any punches, but with the immense compassion he challenges those who read it to take seriously their walk of faith, recognizing that how we live reflects who we are. Then, as today, there are many who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, yet their lives do not reflect their identity as children of God. This series will challenge each of us to live lives of faith full of action that is consistently and continually authenticating our identity and Christ’s body.
message text: Revelation 2:8-11
message date: 03.21.10
These days it seems that everyone has a strategy, opinion, plan, or formula for how the church should look and operate. However, only one voice really matters, the voice of the one who gave His life for the church, Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation contains 7 letters to 7 churches in which God tells us what His church should look like in order to reflect His image. He shares what to avoid and what to embrace as we reveal the image or our glorious Groom, Jesus Christ. The church at Smyrna was a church that knew hard times and in His letter to them Jesus informs them that things are getting worse. Yet, Jesus has only praise for this church facing such persecution calling them rich even though they are poor. Following Jesus has its price and its reward, and we are richest when we cling to Christ no matter what the cost.