Thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word. —Revelation 3:8
Read Revelation 3:7-13
I know some simple people who know more about God than some of the smartest professors. The difference is whether or not they have been taught by God. Look at the congregation of Philadelphia; they were not commended for their intellectual achievements but for their pious life. As a small congregation they only had a “little strength”, but they had kept the Word of the Lord. A mentally handicapped person who keeps God’s Word in all simplicity and daily lives in accordance with it has put many scholars to shame. He or she is not afraid to point out that we ought to pray be-fore a meal and that we may not swear. I was privileged to witness someone who lived out the Christian life in simplicity. When asked at his deathbed how things were he answered from Psalm 116:
I love the Lord, the Fount of life and grace; He hears my voice, my cry and supplication, Inclines His ear, gives strength and consolation, In life, in death my heart will seek His face.
But he also knew what the psalmist testified in stanzas 2 and 3:
The cords of death held me in deep despair; The pangs of hell, like waves by tempest driven, Rolled o’er my soul; by grief and sorrow riven, I turned in my distress to God in prayer. I cried, Deliver Thou my soul, O Lord! Jehovah heard, I pledge Him my devotion. The Lord is just, His grace wide as the ocean; In boundless mercy He fulfills His Word.
What a beautiful and moving testimony this was.
What was praiseworthy in the congregation of Philadelphia?