All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

Suffering for Jesus

Dear Friends,
Today we welcome Michael & Caroline Clark speaking about their work with CMS in Germany. Michael will be speaking on
Revelation 2:8-11 which is Jesus’ letter to the church in Smyrna. It is interesting that Jesus identifies himself as the First and the Last and the one who was dead and is alive again. He is writing to a church which is about to suffer persecution and some of them will be thrown into prison. The key exhortation is to not fear 2:10. So often we allow fear to dominate our lives. It can be fear of tomorrow or fear of rejection or fear that we won’t cope in a certain situation. The great antidote to fear is that Jesus is the First and the Last. Jesus is in total control because He is Lord. Further He identifies himself as the one who was dead and has come to life 2:8. Jesus has power over death. We are all subject to the fear of death. The great news is that Jesus has faced death and has conquered it by rising from the dead. His conquering of death is more than just being stronger than death. Jesus has dealt with the original cause of death that ushered death into the world. His death has paid the price for our sin so we can be raised from the dead and come into God’s presence free from guilt and condemnation. To conquer fear means to recognise that Jesus is stronger than the issues which we face. We notice also in this passage from Revelation that the devil is involved in the persecution of Christians 2:9-10. This persecution is fuelled by the devil’s hatred of those who belong to Jesus. Friends, there is a spiritual battle and we need not fear this battle because Jesus has won the victory but we do need to engage in the battle resisting the devil and the lies that he trades in. Some of his lies include - if this happens to me it is the end of the world. No it isn’t Jesus is in charge of the world and Jesus has a way through whatever problem you face. Another lie is that I fear that I won’t cope with a situation I am facing or anticipating. That is a lie because God’s grace is sufficient. Stop looking at your problems which generate fear and start looking at Jesus the one who has conquered death and controls everything and you will find that He calms our fears. In the evening passage from Hebrews 9:11-14 we are reminded that the whole Old Testament System of sacrifice was a shadow that pointed to the reality of Jesus sacrifice for our sins through His blood shed. The Old Testament sacrificial system couldn’t remove sin but it reminded us that we needed a sacrifice for sin and with the coming of Jesus we find that His blood is better. That is it is effective because He cleanses our consciences so we may serve Him. Please note that coming into a relationship with God and being forgiven is so you can have a clear conscience and serve God in freedom. Are you doing that and enjoying that ? God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara