Tribulation & Crowns

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Jesus has a way of turning things on their heads. When He gets involved in the events of this world, what we might think are facts are turned into fiction. This is evident in Jesus’s interaction with the church of Smyrna. First, He knew that they were facing tribulation and poverty, but He reminds them that they were actually rich. How can that be? It’s likely connected to their relationship to the Owner, Creator, and Sustainer of all that is. Jesus doesn’t stop there, though. Some of the church’s opposition came from those who claimed to be Jews. These probably were Jews from the perspective of physical lineage, but they didn’t believe like a child of Abraham should. They were claiming to be God’s people without any relationship with God. Jesus turns another reality on its head here. He calls them to be faithful until death so that He will give them a crown of life. We don’t give gifts to dead people. Also, once they are dead, what’s the point of the crown of life? Here we see Jesus’s ultimate upheaval of our perception of reality. Jesus introduces Himself to the church in Smyrna as the one who was dead and has come to life. He was dead; that was reality. Any doctor, executioner, or local could tell you that Jesus was dead. They wrapped His body in tight cloths and buried Him in a tomb. But God turned things around. He raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him the right to raise the rest of us from the dead too. So, whatever you’re facing today, let Jesus flip the script. Are you facing poverty? Look to Him for wealth that far exceeds what your bank account could ever hold. Are you facing people who aren’t living up to their claims? Look to Him for truth and faithfulness. Are you facing death? Look to Him for real life. Jesus changes things; His resurrection proves it. Overcome! –Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Reformation Heroes: Ulrich Zwingli and Anna Reinhard, part 2

10AM: Pastor Rory–Tribulation & Crowns–Revelation 2:8-11 (sermon notes

6PM: Pastor Rory–Our God is Able to Deliver–Daniel 3:1-18

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