THE POOR RICH CHURCHMEMORY VERSE: Revelation 2:10: 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.
The church at Smyrna was a suffering church, enduring terrible persecution for Christ. Financially, the church of Smyrna was very poor, yet in the Lord's way of measuring things the church had great wealth.
We know little of suffering for Christ in America. Others have endured persecutions, prison and even death just for identifying with Jesus Christ.
Try this thought provoker: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would their be evidence enough to convict you?
Some years ago, when Japan conquered Korea, many Christians were bitterly persecuted. Those who were not called upon to suffer for Christ felt they were somehow lacking in their Christian testimonies. A Methodist pastor went to a missionary and said, "There must be something wrong with us Methodists. I fear we are not living as godly as we ought to live. There are thirty-seven Presbyterians in jail and only one Methodist! Does not the Lord count us 'worthy to suffer shame for his name?' "
Perhaps your church is counted a bit narrow -- odd. You may be tempted to let down some barriers, to lower some standards. Instead, you ought to count it all joy that your testimony is beginning to make an impact.
If you do not have the largest building in town or the finest facilities, remember that God measures wealth in His own way.
Be faithful. A crown awaits!