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Living Free From Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘fear not’

336. Speak Up

Posted by John Smith on May 26, 2017

John 7:13 NKJV  However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

The Jewish feast of Tabernacles was at hand and families were busily with their final preparations for the feast.  People were cleaning, picking up items from the market, etc… Just think about the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving morning and you’ll probably have a decent picture of the hustle and bustle.  And just like at your family or community gatherings around holidays everyone is swapping stories about the most recent television news broadcasts except in Jerusalem Jesus was the topic of the hour.

Some liked Him.  Some hated Him.  Some believed He was Messiah.  Some thought He was a charlatan.  Unfortunately as seems to be the norm, the doubters, haters, and negative folk were not silent about their thoughts concerning Jesus.  Their bombastic hate filled rhetoric cast fear into the hearts of those that had heard, seen & experienced His teachings, healings, signs, and testimonies of those that were familiar with His ministry, so that the best they could must up was to say that He was good (John 7:12). 

These tactics are favorites of the enemy who continues to use them effectively against the church.  At least the people had not yet experienced the wonder of redemption through Christ nor encountered His amazing grace through which we have been born-again by faith in Him.  Yet there are many such people who have experienced the goodness of His grace and have been radically changed having become a new creation in Christ, but from fear of ridicule, shame, or persecution have been silenced by the clamor of those that refuse to believe.

The word translated “openly” in John 7:13 could also be used as boldly.  It wasn’t that people didn’t say anything, but they just didn’t make it fully know what they believed.  Instead of saying, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” they might’ve said, “Well he really seems like a pretty nice guy to me.”  There is increase in societal pressure to not speak about Jesus and the new life we experience in Him.  Jesus conquered fear on the cross when He gave His life for ours, now we can live in His freedom boldly living for Him.  Don’t give in to the pressure and fear to profess who Jesus is and what He’s done.  He wrote a letter on your heart (2 Corinthians 3:3).  Stand up, read it, and speak up.

“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.” Rabindanath Tagore

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334. Jesus says, “Do not be Terrified.”

Posted by John Smith on May 12, 2017

Luke 21:9 NKJV  But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.

Luke 21:11 NKJV  And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Though most Christians universally agree that Jesus was speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, many believe that He was also speaking of the climate of the world prior to his second coming.  Regardless of how you interpret the Scripture, Jesus’ advice not to fear still holds true.

We live in a volatile world with wars and commotions erupting constantly around the globe.  In addition, the frequency of earthquakes and other natural disasters are also on the rise.  The nightly news is constantly filled with armed conflicts, civil unrest, and devastating storms, all of which are fearful sights.  Still we do not need to fear.  Jesus knew they would take place.

No matter how you interpret the passages in Luke 21 or Matthew 24, the Lord is not surprised.  He is the Alpha & the Omega, the beginning and the end.  He saw your present circumstance before you were ever in it.  He saw the decisions lawmakers and world leaders would make and nothing surprises Him.  That’s good news for us.  That means that our loving Father knew what would take place and is working to lead away from harm before we get in it.  For the circumstances beyond our decision making control, we have promises that He has provided a way of escape (1Cor 10:13).

So listen to Jesus, “…do not be terrified.”  Jesus isn’t surprised of the circumstance and He has a plan for you to bring you through it in victory.

“If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living.” –Seneca

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329. I Fear Therefore I am Fearless

Posted by John Smith on April 7, 2017

Luke 5:26 NKJV  And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Luke 7:16 NKJV  Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”

Luke 8:25 NKJV  But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Luke 8:35-37 NKJV  Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.  (36)  They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.  (37)  Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

In each of these Scriptures people became overwhelmed with the only good kind of fear… a holy one.  In Luke 5:26 they saw a paralyzed man walk carrying the stretcher he was lowered through the roof on.  In Luke 7:16 Holy fear fell upon all present when Jesus raised a widow’s only son from the dead.  In Luke 8:25 the disciples were overcome with fear after Jesus calmed the wind and the waves.  Then in Luke 8:35-37 we see town overcome with fear after Jesus delivered a demonized man.

These of these examples that left people in Holy awe and fear of the awesomeness of our Lord.  They show His power, compassion, mercy, and authority.  Each of them provide us with examples why we needn’t live in any fear other than one produced from getting a revelation of just how marvelous and mighty our Lord is.  It is that revelation of just who He is and how deep His love for you and me is that causes us to sense that Holy Fear.  It is also how we know He has freed us from fear and we no longer have to be afraid.  It is our Holy Fear that leads us to live fearless.  I fear therefore I am fearless.

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326. You Don’t Have to Respond in Fear

Posted by John Smith on March 17, 2017

53035-cheer-up-its-fridayLuke 2:48 NLT  His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” His mother said to Him, “why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for You everywhere.”

Now I want you do go back and read that verse again keeping in mind that Jesus’ mom and step-dad have been looking for him for 3 days now.  I can imagine what their voices would have sounded like.  I’m sure they were filled with relief, excitement, as well as a bit of confusion, frustration, anger, and probably a bit gravelly from having searching the streets calling out for him day and night.  They had to have been terrified.

As a son in this situation… I too would have been terrified.  I would have been terrified that my daddy was gonna ream me out good and that I’d be getting some kind of punishment.  Some kids would have copped an attitude and said, “Chill mom, I’m good. I don’t need you looking out for me, I can take care of myself.”  Some kids like me would have been horrified of either punishment or in my case that my parents would be gravely disappointed in me and respond either profusely apologetic or like I imagine I would have been solemn, sincere and offer a horrified apology.  Yet Jesus wasn’t either of those.  Jesus didn’t respond in fear.

Jesus was confident and calm when He responded, “Why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s House?”  He wasn’t afraid of losing His mother or step-dad’s approval of Him.  He neither pushed back with arrogance nor shuddered in fear.  He didn’t have to… He was confident in who He was and in His relationship with the Father.  It is our confidence in who we are in Him and in our relationship with the Father that secure us so we can always respond calmly and with confidence in any situation and never have to react or respond from fear.

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325. Fear Not A Baby Was Born

Posted by John Smith on March 10, 2017

manger-crossLuke 2:9-12 NKJV  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  (10)  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  (11)  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  (12)  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

Can you imagine just minding your own business doing your job while at work and all of a sudden an angel just shows up and immediately you are surrounded by the glory of the Lord?  These shepherds were just regular people doing their normal day to day function when their whole night was turned upside down by something totally unexpected.  When the unexpected occurs and you’re faced with a situation you’ve never dealt with before there is a definite opportunity to become afraid.  Even if it is supernatural experience containing God’s glory and angels one can become afraid… but no matter the situation when the unexpected occurs we don’t have to be afraid.

We never have to fear because of what the angel that appeared to those shepherds said next.  “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great you which will be to all people…”  These shepherds didn’t have to fear because some good news was coming their way.  You see one of the reasons people begin to fear with something unexpected happens is because they immediately begin to think that it has to be bad news or the situation is hopeless…  Too many times people immediately gravitate to the negative instead of listening to or remembering the GOOD NEWS.  Don’t focus on the negative.  Get back to the reality of the glorious victorious nature of His news.

The message that the angel brought those shepherds that night hasn’t changed, though it has been completed.  The divine gift of Christ our Lord was given to all people.  He grew up and gave His life on behalf of man bringing the best of good tidings our redemption and justification through faith in Him.  The savior was born and the savior gave His life to save and the savior was raised from the dead so we can forever live with Him in God’s presence.

The angel told those shepherds, Fear Not a baby has been born.  Now that same angel would tell you, Fear Not a baby was born who has brought great joy to all people who believe in Him, Christ Jesus the Lord.

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324. Serve Him Without Fear

Posted by John Smith on March 3, 2017

fearLuke 1:74 NKJV  To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

For over nine months since Zacharias encountered an angel while taking care of his priestly duties in the temple of the Lord, he hasn’t spoken.  His lack of faith in the Word of the Lord is what led to his loss of speech.  But 8 days after the birth of his son when it was time to name him on the day of his circumcision, his speech returned when he named his son John as the angel had instructed him.  The whole house was in awe when he spoke… but then he began to prophesy.  This prophetic word recorded in Luke 1:68-70 was about the coming Christ (Jesus) and what would be his son’s role in preparing the way for Jesus.

In verse 74 Zacharias speaks of a promise of God to Abraham that would be realized in Christ freeing us from dead works, sin, condemnation, and from bondage to the Enemy so that we could serve Him without fear.  God’s heart toward us is that we would live free from fear.  We have been freed from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:15) and we have been freed from the fear of the threats and curses of the law.  We are no longer in bondage to the devil nor to the law.  We are free.  Free to fearlessly serve our Lord.

“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me (us) free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).  There is an old Jewish saying, “Greater is he that serves from love than he that serves from fear.”  This was true in Christ as He served both the Father and mankind from love and it is true in you and me as we serve our Lord free from fear of what curse may come upon us, knowing that all of them were put on Christ, and instead from love of who He is and what He has done for us.

It is His desire that we would stand in His fearless nature and serve Him fearlessly.  We have been delivered from all our fear (Psalm 34:4).  There is no more curse of the law and the enemy has been defeated.  There is no fear of death for those in Christ Jesus.  So with our confidence in Him we can fearlessly serve Him and fearlessly proclaim all that He has done.  Jesus came and fulfilled a promise the Father made to Abraham and granted to us that we being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without FEAR!

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320. Identity, Purpose, Strategy

Posted by John Smith on February 3, 2017

Mark 11:18 NKJV  And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.

You might remember the nursery rhyme, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The big bad wolf? The big bad wolf…” But certainly not, who’s afraid of Jesus?  Yet the scribes and chief priests were threatened and terrified by the teaching of Jesus.  They were afraid of losing their power and position among the people they were called to serve, but instead looked at as people sent to serve them.  They were afraid of losing their power so much that they were willing to destroy others for it.

Jesus certainly didn’t want His followers to leave Him, betray Him, nor deny Him, yet He wasn’t afraid of them leaving Him either.  Jesus’ confidence in who He was/is, His purpose, and His commitment to serve others empowered Him to not fear when others weren’t so sure footed and left him.

Pastors, church leadership, ministry leaders, and church goers however often fear when they attendance begins to wain within a church.  They are afraid the bills won’t be paid, that the work won’t be done (or they will have to do even more of it themselves), other people won’t see them as influential anymore, that they aren’t a good speaker, or their own feeling of self-worth is being threatened all of which is distracting them from where their focus should lie.

You see whether its people leaving your church or leaving your life you will have the opportunity to fear, but you don’t have to.  It was Jesus’ confidence in His relationship with the Father and knowing who He was that protected Him from the fear that comes when our identity is wrapped up in people or what we do.  It was the surety in His purpose that allowed Him to fearlessly stand against the pressures that said you are going under and fulfill His purpose when nobody else was left to stand with Him.  It was His commitment to serve that protected Him from the fear of what others said about Him, fear of how many followed Him, or what they thought about Him.

In life and in local churches, people will come and go.  You don’t have to be moved to fear during those times.  The scribes and chief priests feared for selfish reasons… all fear is selfish, but knowing your identity, your purpose, and your strategy to see it through will keep you steady and fearless when people leave.

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310. Fear Not: Jesus is Alive

Posted by John Smith on November 25, 2016

jesus-is-aliveMatthew 28:4-8 NKJV  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.  (5)  But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  (6)  He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  (7)  And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”  (8)  So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

These tough manly soldiers sent to ensure that none of Jesus’ disciples tried to steal His body, fainted in terror at the sight of one of God’s angels.  Yet, these three female disciples don’t appear to have moved.  I’m not sure why they didn’t fall to the ground at the sight of this angel, perhaps it was because they had all seen some pretty spectacular things as followers of Jesus and being present at countless services with Him.  But he certainly gave them a great reason not to fear.  FEAR NOT: JESUS IS ALIVE!

While the soldiers had no clue what was happening and were terrified of the natural things occurring around them (earthquakes, angelic beings with faces like lightning, a massive stone being easily rolled by this angel), and would have been further scared by his message if they heard it; these ladies were comforted.  The revelation that Jesus was alive freed them from any fear that the angelic presence and earthquake may have caused.

The revelation that Jesus is Alive is powerful enough to free anyone from anything.  Because Jesus is alive there is no longer any reason to fear for a Believer.  The reality of His present and eternal physical livelihood is all the revelation you need to get free once and for all from fear.  But what about sickness? “Jesus is alive.”  What about lack?  “Jesus is alive.”  What if they kill you? “Jesus is alive.”  JESUS is ALIVE is the answer to all your fears so FEAR NOT: Jesus is Alive.

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308. He Truly is the Son of God

Posted by John Smith on November 11, 2016

Matthew 27:54 NKJV  So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

It’s amazing how fast emotions can turn when people lose a sense of power and control.  When natural events like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods occur even the most powerful people recognize that there are some things that are bigger and more powerful than them.  Still, there was little that could prepare this Roman Centurion for what he experienced when immediately as Jesus cried out, “It is finished” and yielded up His spirit that the veil of the temple (as thick as a man’s hand) was torn in to, massive earthquakes took place that split the rocks sealing in a number of tombs, and people that had died and were sealed inside got up and walked out their graves.  When the centurion saw these things… he and the other soldiers became terrified (NLT).

These soldier’s world view and security was shaken and their fear let them know that they were not as strong and powerful as they had believed.  They recognized that there was indeed one greater than them.  But we never have to fear, because we DO recognize that there is one greater than you and I.  We KNOW that Jesus is Lord of all.  We know He is greater than earthquakes or any other natural, human, or unnatural disaster.  We know that He didn’t stay on the cross at Calvary, but He rose from the dead and is alive even now at the right hand of the Father.  We know that God is with us and lives in every Believer by the Holy Spirit.  We have nothing to fear.

The world becomes afraid because of the fear of death that holds them in bondage (Heb 2:15) when they lose a sense of personal power and control.  We never have to, because the God of all power is always with us.  The Centurion was afraid and said, “…this was the Son of God!” and was probably thinking what have I done and what am I going to do know?  But you and I say He is the Son of God and He’s with me, I will not fear.  This assurance comes from the inside and it comes from knowing that Jesus truly is the Son of God.

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307. Ergophobia: Fear of Work

Posted by John Smith on November 4, 2016

0306_market_fears_400x400-300x300Matthew 25:24-26 NKJV  “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  (25)  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’  (26)  “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

Sometimes the truth hurts and when we deliver a message bringing clarity and truth of a situation or an attitude to someone we want to do it as lovingly as possible but it still needs to be done.  I’m thankful for people in my life that will share with me the truth, because sometimes we don’t or overlook the genuine motivation for our actions.  We may even attempt to process and try to evaluate them, but we subconsciously overlook some things because it challenges us to look at our real motivations and character and see ourselves in a reality that is more real than we really want to know and it hurts.

This man genuinely believed that his motivation for not using the skills, the resources, and the opportunities given him was because he was afraid of his lord.  But this man’s lord knew the truth and it was he was LAZY.  This guy had a fear alright, but it was the fear of work and not the fear of his lord that drove him to simply hide the coin in the dirt.

Doing something requires Effort and Risk. Both of these things can cause anxiety, but we can’t allow them to prevent us from doing what our Lord desires and expects of us.  We need clarity to determine what these things are.  This comes in His Word, His Presence, & in Relationship with Him.  You have skills, you have been given talents, and there are opportunities all around you.  To not do anything with these things is LAZINESS and FEAR.

This servant was called wicked – a derelict, who brings annoyances, causing pain and troubles.  Don’t be a derelict, who hurts the Father’s heart.  He is with you and has empowered you to do whatever is before you to do.  That doesn’t mean it won’t take effort.  But the work is worth it.  The rewards and His gratitude are eternal (Matthew 25:21,23).

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