Thursday, May 5, 2016


Today’s Reading: Revelation 2:8-11

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Smyrna was the second city to be addressed by Jesus in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:8-10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paul’s third missionary journey. Due to the fact that the port city of Izmir (ancient Syrmna) houses the second largest population in Turkey today, the site of ancient Smyrna has been little excavated. Except the agora (market place), theatre, and sections of the Roman aqueduct, little remains of the ancient city..

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Revelation 2:10b-11

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”


Each of these seven city churches is given a special promise conditional on living a life which “overcomes” the temptation to give in. In the case of the Smyrna church, the temptation was to give in to the threat of persecution by Rome and the opposition of “the synagogue of Satan.” Just as Saul of Tarsus persecuted his fellow Jews before his conversion to Jesus, so John, who was Jewish, and almost all the followers of Jesus who were also Jewish, were still persecuted by some of their fellow Jews. As Ephesus was the centre of the worship of the goddess Diana (Artemis), so Syrmna was the centre of the worship of the Roman Emperor. A great temple was there, and there are records showing that a Smyrna synagogue had abandoned Judaism and compromised to the extent of burning incense to the Emperor. A certificate was given to all who burned incense to the Emperor, without which business could not be conducted, and without which a sentence of death could be pronounced on all who could not show such a document.

Just imagine the encouragement to hold steady given to the believers by the words of Jesus, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.” They will only die once, but those who deny Jesus will die twice. “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”


Lord God, I pray for strength, courage, stamina, and boldness in my testimony for Jesus. I know that I don’t face death for my testimony, but as I type this there are those who are being killed for their faith in Jesus Christ and their refusal to deny Him. Strengthen them, I pray, in their resolve. And for me, I pray that I will be an overcomer in the struggle against more subtle temptations here in the free world to compromise with the world, the flesh, and the devil. In the Name of the complete Overcomer, Jesus Christ (Messiah). Amen!!!


I spent some time researching “Smyrna.” Apparently it was named after one of its ancient products, myrrh. Probably the believers in Jesus in that city knew this and may have meditated on the fact that myrrh was one of the gifts of the wise men to the Baby Jesus, and that Nicodemus, who came to Jesus as a secret believer, came into the open at Jesus’ burial with a mixture of myrrh and aloes to anoint Jesus’ Body (read John 19:38-42).

A hero of mine is the Pastor of Smyrna. His name was Polycarp. As a young man, perhaps 30, he may have been the one to read “Revelation” to the Syrmna church. History records this statement by Polycarp in the Roman arena just before his execution: “For 86 years I have served Christ. How can I now blaspheme my King Who saved me!” The Roman Pro-counsel had given Polycarp the choice to curse Christ and sacrifice to Ceasar, or die by fire. Polycarp should be a hero to all followers of Christ. He chose death. They were about to bind him to a stake, but he refused binding and voluntarily stood in the fire where he died. Polycarp preached to all in the vast stadium, “You threaten me with fire. You do not know the fire which awaits the wicked in judgment to come and in everlasting punishment.”

Yours, from one whose eyes are filled with tears so that I can hardly see the keys to type this,


Modern day Izmir, Turkey, is on the Mediterranean and is a major port on the Aegean Sea. The remains of Ancient Smyrna can still be visited here. The ruins can be seen in the middle of this photo.

19 thoughts on “Thursday, May 5, 2016

  1. God is constantly at work in our lives He is looking years down the road and getting everything perfectly in order, lining up solutions to problems you haven;t even considered yet!
    Your situation may seem unfair, it may be difficult, it may seem that the forces working against you are winning momentarily;’ BUT God said He’d turn your circumstances around and use them to your advantage.
    We need to ge our song back, say things such as fathar,thank You for this day! Thank You that I am alive! Everytime you do that, God will fill you afresh with His glory, joh, peace,strength, victory,and favour.

    Blessings to everyone day on this blog!!!!!!

    • Thanks Sah for these words, you are so right we need to do more praising instead if complaining. Bless you and all blogger friends. Eleanor M.

  2. Fascinating Revelation scripture to the church in Smyrna, history, message, prayer and photos. The aerial overview showing the ancient ruins from the first photo in the middle of the busy city is rather profound. To think of Jesus being there c. 2000 years ago; Paul preaching to the church there; and John receiving a vision from the Lord to write the Revelation to their church is astonishing. And that we continue to study, absorb, learn, and be enriched by it in our daily blog on the internet, transmitted across the world, at our finger tips, is mind boggling!! The photo shows the progression from the past to the present in our experience. We are so blessed by God’s greatness and rich in His mercy. Amen! Blessings fellow saints, in the Lord!

    “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deut 7:9, NKJV

    Since Your Love, Brandon Hampton (LOVE!!!!)

    • P.S. It is hard to keep track of worship songs I post and hope they are not repeated too closely together. Hopefully everyone is still enjoying them as I am–I love to hear them playing while I read and prepare the blog.

      Thank you for continued prayers; still off my foot.

      • Beverlee it doesn’t matter if you put on the same songs, you are a Blesing to all of us. Praying that you toe will heal quickly, however, you are exactly were God wants you to be at this moment.
        Thank you Pastor David for your insight of the Scriptures. You are such an encouragement to all of us. Ekeanor M.

        • Yes, indeed; thanks for reminding me, Eleanor. God slows us down when we need to be resting in body and spirit. Soaking in His Presence. Bless you, dear sister-in-Christ!

  3. Praising God each day and night for the abundance of His blessings. This blog and those of my fellow saints are among those blessings.

    Beverlee thank you for blessing us each day and rest as God see fit while your toe heals.❤️

  4. My whole post did not get on…..

    Thank you Pastor David for inspiring us each day. Tears as I read the courage of Pastor Polycarp.

  5. David I said the same prayer you prayed as well.
    Thank you for all the words you write and your family do for our blog.
    Thank you Beverlee for blessing us with the songs you give to us.

  6. Thank you for the insight and history you shared about Symrna and Pastor Polycarp. What love and devotion he showed for the Lord Jesus Christ. As I read about the fire he stepped into, I can’t help but think of the fires in Fort McMurray that I just viewed on YouTube, the darkness, the mass exodus and sudden outbursts of flames. Oh God help us to be ready to meet you and escape eternal destruction.

    • Please continue to pray for Fort McMurray. 3 babies were born in a first aid facility there yesterday (hospital was evacuated). This is a responsibility for my son-in-law who must go up there. He has been working all night (logistics). Much desperation up there just now and the consequences will be felt by so many and for some time.

  7. What a blessing this blog is; daily fresh manna. May the Lord continue to bless and strengthen you David, and all those involved in presenting it to us, in particular Norma-Jean who stand by you in all you do, and your children each in their own way.

    The Lord’s blessing on you saints who participate in prayer and testimony, etc.

  8. and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us! And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and ever AMEN

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