The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile endurance race with ice-filled dumpsters, electric shocks, greased monkey bars (over deep and muddy pools, and a climb up a slicked with grease and mud quarter pipe. The main principle of the Tough Mudder revolves around teamwork. Participants must commit to helping others complete the course, putting teammates before themselves, overcoming fears and persevering.
The Christian life lived for Christ, is Life’s Ultimate Tough Mudder. And participants must commit to helping others complete the course, putting teammates before themselves, and overcoming fears and persevering.
The church in Smyrna was in a Tough Mudder. Jesus knew His team needed encouragement, so he wrote a special letter to them. You can read his “pep” talk in Revelation 2:8-11.
Finding nothing to correct with these believers, this is the shortest of the seven letters. You find a CHARACTERISTIC of Christ in 2:8, His COMMENDATION in 2:9, His COMMAND in 2:10 and finally His COMMITMENT in 2:11.
As you read through the passage note the following:
1. Christ knows what is going on not only in a church but in your life as well, Rev 2:8; Matt 6:25-26.
2. Satan’s loves to discourage us. In this Tought Mudder there are three obstacles: TRIBULATION, POVERTY AND BLASPHEMY. Jesus cautioned His disciples about tribulation. But Paul reminds us of what, in Romans 8:35? The second obstacle in this Mudder lack of material goods, or poverty. (See Hebrews 10:34 it was not uncommon.) Jesus reminds them they were not poor but rich. Most of us worry far too much but about how much we have on earth, compared to how much we can have in Heaven. The third obstacle was blasphemy from Jews. This blasphemy or slander was not directed toward God but the believers. Disciples today encounter these same three obstacles.
3. In verse 10, he gave them the secret of not giving up the Mudder. It is the ability to overcome fear even of death. You give up on something or someone when you think the benefits of not persevering are greater then the benefits of persevering. Christ promises these paupers they can become Kings wearing the Crown of Life. If we believe this it will fortify us to fight on.
4. Finally, we see the invitation 2:11, “He who has ears to hear…” And the inventive, we unlike the vast majority of human beings will not be hurt by the second (spiritual) death.
See you on Sunday!