Lord, Make Us Like Philadelphia! by Rev. Randy Elliott

Inside this issue:

The Holy Spirit Speaks To The Churches

     The Spirit today is speaking to those who will listen, but He doesn't speak to just individuals. Revelation 3:13 says, "He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Are you listening, Christian? Is your church listening? The Spirit is continually striving with us, prodding us toward truth and righteousness and away from attachment to this dying world.
     Today we want to hear what the Spirit is saying to us as individuals and to our church through the church of
Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13).

The City Of Philadelphia
Its Culture And Philosophy

     We want to first make note of this church's circumstances. The city of Philadelphia was founded in 140 B.C. at the juncture of the approaches to three major provinces of Asia Minor: Mysea, Lydia and Phrygia. It was called the "Gateway to the East." The city was prosperous, partly because of its flourishing grape industry. Dionysus was its patron god, though temples throughout the city were erected in honor of other gods as well. The city was founded as a missionary center for Hellenism, that is, for spreading the pagan culture and thought of Greece. Into this city had come the gospel of Jesus Christ, that God had sent His Son as the atonement for our sin, and some had turned away from the pagan culture and philosophy of

, "He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Rev. 3:13

the Greeks to Jesus Christ.

The Church Of Philadelphia
Faithful But Having Little Power

     We need to hear what the Spirit of God wants to say through this church of Philadelphia. This church, and the one in Smyrna, were the only

Counseling Tips by Rev. Tony Smith

affect our thoughts and behavior. If you have grown up in a dysfunctional family it can contribute to a shame-based identity. I want to encourage you to break free of the weight of shame and guilt produced by a painful childhood. Remember the words of (Roman's 8:33-34) "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Who is he that condemns?"
     A rapid flow of shame occurs in the family in which alcoholism, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, or sexual abuse is present. This shame is not a healthy shame, which calls an individual to live by constructive moral values, but a toxic shame, which destroys self-esteem and offers no options for climbing out of the pit of despair it creates.

Is Your Family a
"Shame Factory?"

     How do we produce so much shame in our society today? We hear a lot today about dysfunctional families or family members with a addictive behavior. A lot of our shame is produced from living in a dysfunctional family. We can have a "shame-based identity" that will