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Tag Archives: Fear

Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38, NRSV)

An angel came to Mary and said to her she would have a child and she wondered how it would happen since she was still a virgin.

Well God is able to do what humans think impossible and your son will be the offspring of God.

And instead of running away screaming or questioning more, Mary says, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Excuse me? really?

I would have wanted more answers, not just an ok, we’ll go with that.

But Mary gives us the example here of the person who completely trusts God and His plan for our lives.

So can we have a Mary faith and step up when God calls us?

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David Slays Goliath

The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.” But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.” When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The troops of Israel and Judah rose up with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. The Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. (1 Samuel 17:41-54, NRSV)

David faced his fear of the giant because he knew that God was with him. And God doesn’t need an army to defeat an enemy. God just needs one person who is ready to trust Him.

What could God use you for?

 

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little faith

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A gale arose on the lake, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ (Matthew 8:23-27, NRSV)

If Jesus is asleep is anything really going to happen to them? Plus if he is able to sleep, how bad can the storm be any how?

We always seem to see the waves as bigger than they are. Problems seem over whelming, but if we can let Jesus walk with us through life, our problems will be under control. Not that we won’t have problems or waves anymore, Jesus never said that He would take the storm away, but that He would be with us through the storm.

So let Him calm you and the waves… and have a little faith in Him!

 

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whose

for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. (2 Timothy 1:7-14, NRSV)

We are not held under a spirit of fear or cowardice, we were given a spirit of power to boldly speak the truth of God to all around us.

We have been given power and grace to reveal His love to the nations through the testimony of our lives.

So speak boldly and in power, not ashamed of who you are but holding fast to whose you are.

Speak of the love you were given to the world so they may know that they are loved as you are loved.

 

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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!

 

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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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Are you grateful?

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.

 

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