Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8, NRSV)

I always loved this ending to Mark. Scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark originally ended here with verse 16:8. But people didn’t like the fact that the gospel ended with the women fleeing from the tomb and not telling anyone what they had seen. But here is what they missed.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And the end where the women flee in terror is not the end, but the end of the writing. You see as long as we believe the story, it is still being written. The gospel has not ended, the good news is still being told.

We are all gripped by fear, but Jesus is still living and active in our world, and we can keep writing the Gospel and sharing the story.

So don’t let fear seize you in terror, but go and shout it from the mountaintops that Jesus Christ is Alive and working in your life, and show His love, grace, and mercy in all that you do!

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!

161009On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19, NRSV)

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem in what we would call no man’s land.

And there He saw 10 people with skin disease, and before they proved themselves worthy of healing, He told them to go and show themselves to the priest, which is what they needed to do to be accepted back into community. You see with w skin disease they were put out of community because they were thought to be contagious. So in order to return to life in community, the priest had to clear them, and say they were healed. So Jesus sent them to be restored to community.

And as they went they realized they were made clean.

And 1 of the 10, turned around and went back to Jesus and thanked Him.

And because he went back and thanked Jesus, Jesus said, “your faith has made you well.” So this one was cleansed, and had faith, and was made well.

Makes me wonder what we are grateful for?

There is a lot in the world today to be fearful of.

There is a lot in the world today to be angry about.

There is a lot in the world today to be frustrated about.

We all have lots of things we regret.

We all have apprehensions.

We all grieve something we did or did not do.

But when we get hung up on the negatives, all we will see is the negatives.

What do you have in your life to be grateful for?

And have you said thank you to God yet today for all of your blessings?

Be grateful for your blessings, and count them, and count on God to continue to help you through all the troubles ahead.

160813My child, if you accept my words
and treasure up my commandments within you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
if you indeed cry out for insight,
and raise your voice for understanding;
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it as for hidden treasures—
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,
guarding the paths of justice
and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
prudence will watch over you;
and understanding will guard you.
(Proverbs 2:1-11, NRSV)

There was a huge campaign from about 10 – 20 years ago it seems called No Fear. It was about over coming our fears to the point we do things we wouldn’t normally do.

But there is something to understanding fear and how in knowing our fear, we can embrace change and move forward in God. And there is something to the fear of the Lord.

You see God doesn’t want us to fear Him, like our parents don’t want us to fear them. He wants us to come to Him and embrace Him and live in and through Him. But to be honest, I had a fear of my parents. Of what they would do if they caught me doing something wrong. Of what would happen if I let them down. And this fear led me to know what was good and what was bad. What would let them down and what would make them proud.

And if constantly seek after God, then we will learn the knowledge of what we need to do to make Him known in the world.

So Know Fear! And follow Him where He leads you!

Love

Posted: 2016/04/12 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Easter
Tags: , , , , , ,

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. (1 John 4:7-21, NRSV)

God is love, and whoever loves knows God, but whoever does not love does not know God.

But here is the thing on this, this is love all, not some or those deserving. Becuase everyone is able to do that. They love those who love them and those whom they want something from, but we are supposed to love everyone. And not harbor hate, or evil. We are called to show that God lives in us through the love we show the world. To those who hate us and revile us. God is shown through love. And we love, because God loved us.

So love. And do not fear.

O how abundant is your goodness
that you have laid up for those who fear you,
and accomplished for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter
from contentious tongues.
Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as a city under siege.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am driven far from your sight.”
But you heard my supplications
when I cried out to you for help.
Love the LORD, all you his saints.
The LORD preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD.
(Psalm 31:19-24, NRSV)

Take courage!

Be Strong! For God is with us!

He will set aside our fears and use us in ways we could not imagine.  He will be our ever present help in trouble and will ease our souls.

So do not let fear get the best of you, but be strong on the Lord!

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:30-37, NRSV)

This is an interesting passage.

Jesus just told the disciples a second time what is going to happen to Him, yet no one takes him aside, maybe they remember what He did to Peter! But also none of them asks any questions or comments at all. They continue on their way…

Then Jesus asks them what they were talking about…

They were working out their escape plan…

Because it says after Jesus told them what He did, “But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.” They were afraid.

And when we get afraid we do strange things. We look out for #1, ourselves.

Small fears or great fears have a way of paralyzing us or causing us to look for our escape plan.

The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was saying, or maybe they did and if they are going to kill Him, what will they do to us, so if we think about this another way, maybe we can just work through this…

You see fears are what we make of them.

This picture of Yoda comes from The Empire Strikes Back where he sends Luke into the Dark Side tree. He tells Luke to leave his weapons, as he will not need them, they only thing he will find in there is what he takes with him.

Fear can control us. But if we can open our hearts and lives to Jesus as a child trusts, then the kingdom will be opened to us in ways we can not possibly imagine.

If we can leave our fears behind, God will take us places only He can imagine.

If we can leave our fears behind, we will open the kingdom, not only for ourselves, but to the world around us.

So what is your fear, and how will you allow Him to help you over it?