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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

340. Autophobia, Isolophobia, Anuptaphobia Oh My!

Posted by John Smith on June 23, 2017

John 14:16-18 NKJV  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  (17)  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  (18)  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.”

Autophobia or monophobia is the fear of being alone.  It is closely related to isolophobia a fear of being isolated, ignored.  But neither of these fears need plague God’s people for we are never alone.

Before His crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, Jesus said that He would be going away, but that He would not leave us orphans.  Thankfully He will return for His Church.  In the meantime, He still did not leave us alone.  Instead He sent the Holy Spirit who abides with us forever.  When we were born-again the Holy Spirit took up residence in every Believer.  We are never alone.

The Spirit of God is a friend like no other.  Ever present.  Full of wonder.  Giver of Truth.  Possessor of Wisdom.  A Heavenly Coach that will walk with us through every circumstance or trial we experience in life, leading us through and into the abundant life that is ours in Christ.

Most of my childhood and adolescent years my parents left for work before I went to school and returned home after I had been home a few hours.  During the summer or winter breaks, I spent a lot of time at home alone.  Sometimes it was fine.  Sometimes it was great.  Sometimes it was scary.  The cracks and creeks of the ranch style house or of the towering trees in the woods behind our home, or the shadows of an animal passing one of the windows would cause be to jump.  I felt alone.

But as a child of God, I am never alone.  I have God the Holy Spirit with me everywhere I go.  Ephesians 1:13 tells us that when we believe in Christ we “…were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”, and he will never leave me nor forsake me.  And if you’ve been born-again, He’ll never leave you either.  Fear Not; You are Not Alone.

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337. Gratitude Empowers Us to Live Fearlessly

Posted by John Smith on June 2, 2017

John 9:22-25 NKJV  His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.  (23)  Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”  (24)  So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”  (25)  He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

In John chapter 9 we meet a man that was born blind and has spent his entire adult life begging (v8).  He was well known by those that visited the temple at the Mt. of Olives.  As Jesus left the temple after supernaturally avoiding being stoned after He revealed Himself as I AM he passed by this man and healed him.

Later this man’s neighbors saw him seeing, questioned him about who healed him, and took him to the Pharisees when he told them that some guy named Jesus healed him by putting mud in his eyes and sending him to go wash it off at the pool of Siloam.  Everyone was shocked that this man could see.  The Pharisees sought confirmation from his parents that he had indeed been blind from birth.  Once they confirmed they were asked how Jesus could heal their son and what they thought about Him.  That’s when they became afraid.  His parents believed that this miracle pointed to the reality that Jesus was the Christ, but didn’t know how they could even begin to scripturally explain their belief.  They also knew that saying such a thing would have them excommunicated from the synagogue and they would be harshly criticized.

Sometimes people don’t speak up because they are not confident in their understanding of Scripture to answer all the arguments that people have.  Praise God, you don’t have to.  In verse 25 the man previously blind speaks up saying, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know.  One thing I know; that thought I was blind, now I see.”  His statement proves you don’t have to have a theology degree to speak up about Jesus.  All you have to do is tell others what He’s done for you.  But what about His parent’s fear of being criticized and socially outcast… well they did kick this man out of the synagogue, but then Jesus found him, strengthened him, and ministered to him.

I hear from people that tell me they are too afraid to tell people about Jesus.  First of all that is selfish.  People are dying and going to Hell because they don’t know Him and they are concerned that someone won’t like them.  Well if they wake up in Hell and know you could have at least told them about Jesus they really won’t like you.  Sometimes they tell me they just don’t know enough or how to answer the questions that people ask.  Neither did this ex-blind guy in John 9 but he told them what he did know.  He told them what Jesus had done for them.  Nobody can argue that.  Secondly, so what if you are ostracized.  This man was kicked out of the synagogue and then Jesus strengthened and ministered to him.  His parents fear kept them in the in crowd, but it also kept them from being personally strengthened and ministered to by Jesus

What freed the man born blind from fear?  Perhaps it was that his whole life he had already been a kind of social outcast relegated to begging for an income.  If you’ve never really been accepted the threat of rejection might not hold as much power.  Or maybe it was the fact that he had a LIFE CHANGING encounter with Jesus that was so fresh to him, he simply couldn’t keep his mouth shut.  I lean to the latter.  Keeping ourselves grateful and in mind of all that Jesus has done for us empowers and emboldens us to share what He’s done with others without fear.

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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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332. The World Can’t Take His Love From You

Posted by John Smith on April 28, 2017

Luke 12:4-7 NLT  “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that.  (5)  But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, He’s the One to fear.  (6)  “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.  (7)  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Though Jesus is surrounded by a huge crowd too large to number He doesn’t specifically address the crowd.  Instead, He begins to speak to His disciples first warning them about hypocrisy both of others (Pharisees) and of their own (Luke 12:1-3).  He continues speaking to His disciples and admonished them not to fear people, pressures, and by direct implication Pharisees.

It is the fear of what others will say, what others may do, the pressures of life, and the pious lofty speeches of religious people who speak the word only to try to show how much they know and trap people in theological arguments that amount to nothing for the Kingdom that lead Believers to act in ways that are contrary to who they are (hypocrisy).  Jesus was encouraging His disciples in the midst of people that won’t always want to hear the truth and some that are there intentionally to argue that they mustn’t back down from the truth.  He further encourages them to remember just who it is that they are speaking for, the stakes for those who hear, and the absolute trust they can put in God who doesn’t overlook even what we might consider the most insignificant thing such as sparrows and the very hairs on our heads.

The reality is that the Lord is absolutely enamored with his people.  He loves you and are worth the very life blood of Jesus to Him.  Because of this love we can overcome the fears that would cause us to back away from the dreams and callings that He has for each of us to work with Him in letting the world know of His incredible mercy and grace.

Fear in the form of persecution and pressure to back away from sharing & living the Truth has always been around.  But to a Believer in Christ there is no fear for death is all the enemy has and we know that death is not the end for us.  Therefore we have an obligation to stand tall and make sure the world has an opportunity to hear of His great love.  We can be fearless in this knowing His love for us.  The world can’t take that away.

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327. His Love Never Fails

Posted by John Smith on March 24, 2017

fishers-of-men1Luke 5:10 NKJV  and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”

Peter, John and James where acquainted with Jesus. He had been preaching in the churches around the region for a little while now and He was already the talk of the town.  Just a few days before He had even ministered in Peter’s home, healing Peter’s mother in law before having supper and then proceeded to minister healing and deliverance to seemingly a pretty large number of people that came to him in need.

Now he has just finished speaking a morning message to a whole mess a people having borrowed Peter’s commercial fishing boat, after he and his partners in another boat returned from their daily fishing operations.  This particular day they caught nothing, but after His teaching, Jesus asked Peter to let the nets he had just got done cleaning and prepping for the next day back into the water, which Peter with only a little resistance obliged.  When he did a the nets were almost instantly filled with fish and the catch was so large Peter had to call for the other boat to come help and still both commercial fishing boats nearly sank because of the haul.

Being professional fishermen Peter knew this catch was supernatural.  It wasn’t the right fishing spot nor the right time of day to experience any success, yet it was more abundant than they could do with all their skill and knowledge.  Peter knew either Jesus had authority and power over the fish or He had supernatural wisdom where they were or both.  Overwhelmed and amazed Peter cries out, “I am not worthy to be with you.” And an awesome fear overtook him.

God has certainly been so good to me and my family through the years.  And I know that you could join me in sharing times, events, situations, etc… that the Lord has just done something amazingly marvelous for you and left you speechless (and I’m not even talking about the most amazing thing through our redemption and salvation in Christ Jesus).  But what Jesus says next to these men should always remind us that the Goodness of God we’ve experienced wasn’t just for a few events, but that He is calling us to live with Him in an ongoing state of amazement ever astonished by His wisdom and power.

Jesus told them, not to fear this outpouring of God’s goodness, because they hadn’t seen anything like the blessings, power, and favor that they had opportunity to see if they’d follow Him.  Just like Peter, John & James were invited to see even greater things than this catch of fish and not to fear either God’s amazing goodness nor that they’d never see anything like this again, we are encouraged never to fear in any circumstance for God’s blessings, power & favor have been made available to us in the net of the Gospel.  His love and goodness never cease and never fail.  Fear Not!

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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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313. Who Can This Be?

Posted by John Smith on December 16, 2016

who_is_itMark 4:39-41 NKJV  Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.  (40)  But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  (41)  And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?!”

When I talk with people about overcoming fear, I often stress a few “Fear Not” Scriptures where Father God revealed some very important reasons not to fear. “I am with you.” “I am for you.” “I am in you.” “I am faithful.” But none of those are very powerful unless you have a revelation of just who He is.  In Mark 4, the disciples were in a terrible storm and all natural evidence said that they were going to die until Jesus came to their rescue, rebuked the storm and brought peace to their situation.  Then the disciples were overcome with awe as they tried to process what just happened to them and get a grasp on the revelation of the reality of who Jesus is and the amazing power within Him.

One reason that they were afraid and why so many Christians today live in fear is because although we know about Jesus and believe He has given new life to us when we believed on Him, we still fail to see Him in the reality of His awesome nature.  Jesus IS God. (Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8, John 1:1, Philippians 2:6, John 5:18, etc…)  “Amen!” we shout in our churches, while we cry “oh me” in our homes.  Because as much as we profess this as truth we struggle we often lose sight of His Nature in the midst of the storms of life.

The disciples wondered, “Who can this be?”  We must get a revelation of who Jesus is?  It will light a fire in our belly.  Then we must continue to grow in the revelation of who He is.  The faithful God of all creation is for you, with you, and in you by the New Birth.  You and I can live even more fearless than the disciples.  Their fearlessness was dependent upon their physical proximity to Jesus.  But now by the Holy Spirit of God, He is ever present with every Believer.  Furthermore, by the New Birth we share in His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and can use our faith to speak to the mountains (Mark 11:24) and storms of life that rock our boats and those of our loved ones causing fear.

Only when we see Jesus as He is can we begin to see ourselves as we are.  We grow in this revelation by time in His presence and through the Word of God.  It is a continual process, but it is one that will cause you to #LiveFearless because you’ll never again ask, “Who can this be?”

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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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297. Fear Not the World Needs You

Posted by John Smith on August 26, 2016

ps34picMatthew 10:25-31 NKJV It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! (26) Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. (27) “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. (28) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (29) Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. (30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Jesus was boldly telling His disciples that the same people and forces that persecuted Him, would also come after them, but that they need not fear. Just prior to this section of verses Jesus told them that if they get ran out of one town to go to the next. Who said being a disciple would be easy?

I have heard it said that if you just follow and do what the Bible says everything will be just great. This kind of sunshine and roses talk… just isn’t Biblical. Sure we have victory and are to walk in an overcoming faith, but Jesus told these guys they were going to suffer difficulty for doing the right thing and telling people about Him. NEWS FLASH: Some people don’t like it when you do the right thing. The devil sure doesn’t like it and will use whatever forces including persecution by others to get you into fear so you will stop telling people the Gospel of Christ and giving God opportunity to demonstrate His Word through accompanying signs and wonders.

Jesus tells His disciples and us by application not to fear persecution for sharing the grace and love filled message of Christ. He tells them to be bold and openly share, “speak in the light; and… preach on the housetops.” He tells them the worst thing that can happen is their physical body is killed and they go to heaven and reminds them that it isn’t about them because they are in the Kingdom, but those they are ministering to are doomed without Christ. Then Jesus reminds them of their incredible value. Just in case you don’t know; you are priceless. The priceless blood of Christ was paid for you.

Jesus loves us so much that he gave His life for us. If our Lord loves us this much and has promised to keep us, why should we ever fear living our lives openly for Him every day? I can’t promise that following Him will make everyday sunshine and roses, but I can promise you a fearless confidence that we will live together forever with Him. We hold the Word of God and the Reality of Christ in our hearts that others don’t have. If they don’t hear, they can’t believe. If they don’t believe, they won’t share in the glorious eternity before us. Instead they will encounter eternity in Hell. Your security is established and complete in Him. Fear Not, the world needs you.

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