How are you? Are you enjoying the warm weather?

That is one of the many things my wife and I appreciate about Colorado. We love the 300 days of sunshine every year. We love the warm, sunny days without the humidity. We also love the random thunderstorms that come.

Last week, we had our annual Yard Sale. Thank you to all those who helped, whether that be helping us set up, break down, pick up, or drop off. We appreciate you.

One of the customers never picked up the four-piece, oak-wood entertainment set they bought. It’s still in our parking lot today.

After seeing this piece of furniture, one of our pastors suggested we should put a tarp on it. I asked him if it was going to rain this week. He said that with Colorado weather, it can rain anytime. We should be ready for it.

In the Christian life, there will be sunny, beautiful days. But just like Colorado weather, the storms of hardship and trial will come, and they may come at a time we don’t expect it. Suffering is a guarantee. The question is… Are we ready for it?

This suffering will come in the form of physical, emotional, or relational brokenness. This suffering also should come from persecution. Just like the church in Smyrna this past Sunday, people will try to dilute the gospel and distort our doctrine. They will hate us for our faith and our message. They may even try to hurt us or kill us like some are trying to kill our brothers and sisters across the world today.

Although we may not face death for our faith, we need to ask ourselves if we have been persecuted at all. Have we been ridiculed for our beliefs? Has the world hated us like it has hated our Savior? If not, then why?

Most likely, it’s because the world has not taken notice. Maybe it’s because our lives look exactly the same as theirs with the same hopes, treasures, and dreams. Maybe it’s because we live in strict isolation.

As we meditate on the passage from this Sunday, we are challenged to live our lives more faithfully and more missionally. We are encouraged to be faithful unto death if we are facing any persecution for our faith, and we will receive the crown of life.

How can we live our lives more faithfully? More missionally? Even unto death? It’s to put our faith in the Faithful One. Despite our faithlessness, He was the One who was first faithful to us until His death on the cross. He lived and died for the mission of God to save us. He gives us the crown of life because He took on the cross of death on our behalf.

This week, come back to the Faithful One. Receive His mercy and grace fully poured out through the cross. Be faithful in your life. Be faithful unto death.

We have Missionaries Chuck, Nikki, and Esther’s mission presentation to our EM this Saturday. Come out if you can and sign up for the Potluck! Also, we have our Congregational Meeting this Sunday after fellowship. See you all on the Lord’s Day for worship.

May God’s grace and peace be with you. Pray for one another.

In Christ,
Pastor Tim