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Do not be afraid

170416After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10, NRSV)

Jesus was laid in the tomb Friday evening…

He was dead. When they pierced His side, blood and water flowed, a sure sign of death.

So it was a bit surprising when the Marys head to the tomb to wrap His body and put spices on it that the stone is rolled away and an angel is waiting for them.

And they hear for the first time, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus is not here.

And they believe and run to tell the disciples when they run into Jesus, who also says to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” We have reason to fear when He was dead, but here He is walking with us, but isn’t that what He told us would happen?

Do we not believe He will keep His promises. He said 3 days and I will rise!

So do not be afraid, for He is alive! And He is going to keep all of His promises!

Do not be afraid!

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whom shall I fear

170128The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—my adversaries and foes—they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!  “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, LORD, do I seek.  Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! (Psalm 27:1-9, NRSV)

What is there to be afraid of?

We all are afraid of something. But do we need to let fear keep us from living?

No. God is our stronghold. He will overcome everything that comes our way.

He will protect us, and encamp around us. He will keep us safe and shelter us.

There is nothing to fear in the light of the Lord!

 

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Do not be afraid!

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ (Matthew 28:1-10, NRSV)

Do not be afraid! Right!

I came to this place expecting to find the body of Jesus and instead there is an angel, telling me He has risen and is going ahead to meet the disciples in Galilee… And I’m not suppose to run away afraid!

Well the good news is it is all true! Everything Jesus told us, is true and the promises of God are coming to fruition.

And the interesting thing here is that women are the ones who witness Jesus’ rising! You see God is bringing the things that the world looks down upon and raising them to a new level!

Shepherds at His birth. Tax collectors, fisherman, and those the world would not trust as disciples. And here at His resurrection women are the first to see!

God uses the weak and the lowly to be the strong and the highly exalted to be the first! For when the world makes you last, in God’s kingdom you will be first.

Jesus died and rose for all! And thanks be to God that He loved me enough to die and rise so that I might be with Him!

 

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do not be afraid…

All of us have something we are afraid of. And these things change from time to time.

Like when we are young many of us are afraid of the dark.

Some of us are afraid of spiders, roaches, bugs, lizards, snakes…

We are afraid of abandonment.

We are afraid of losing those we love.

We are afraid of not being able to provide for our family.

We are afraid we will let people down.

We are afraid that we have not done enough.

We are afraid that everything is all our fault.

We are afraid we will/have failed.

We are afraid we will not/don’t amount to anything…

The list could go on and on…

Why does fear grip us and hold us? It is something inside of us. We are so worried about what others think and say about us. When really it is not about anybody else. The only person we really have to impress is ourselves, and we will actually never be able to do that either. But in reality we do not have to impress ourselves. God knows all about us and loves us warts and all. He has chosen you and named you and set you as a prophet before the nations. And even when you stumble and fall and stutter and don’t know what to do or say, you do not need to fear, because He will put the words in your mouth and the actions in your hands, and He will deliver you from anyone who would come against you. He has a plan for you for your well being and He is the creator of all things and has all of the world in His hands…

You see we have no reason to fear anything. God, the creator of everything, has called you by name and set you apart for His good purpose, and He will use you a worthless worm, redeemed by Him not because of what you have done or will do, but because He is and He loves you!

So be not afraid to go and do as He has called you to, because He will be the one doing the doing, you just get to go along for the ride of your life!

 

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