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Posts Tagged ‘no fear’

344. Get Out of the House!

Posted by John Smith on July 28, 2017

John 20:19 NKJV  Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

On the evening of the day of His resurrection, Jesus who had already been seen by Mary Magdalene and proclaimed to be alive to a few other ladies by an angel is about to appear to His disciples.  These great men and women of God, who had been following Jesus for years now, were huddled together in a home with the windows drawn and the doors shut because they were afraid.  They were hiding.  They were afraid.

They had heard that Jesus body was gone.  They weren’t sure what they thought about Mary’s testimony that she had seen and spoken to Jesus, but they were sure that they were being considered as prime suspects in the disappearance of Jesus’ body.  They feared that they would be put to death as His disciples or apprehended as body snatchers so they hid.  Their fear kept them from living life, proclaiming God’s goodness, and certainly hindered them from hearing testimonies and remembering both God’s Word and what Jesus Himself had told them about how He must die and be resurrected.

Then Jesus walks in to the midst of their fearful situation and says, “Peace be with you.”  His presence and His Word bring us peace when we are overwhelmed.  When we realize that we have His peace and have been sent by God on a mission of mercy to the world we will leave the house.  Your house is whatever fears you allow to keep you bound up.  They prevent you from living life.  They keep you from embracing His Promises to you.  They also keep us from fulfilling our purpose and our call as His ambassadors in the Earth.

It is time to get out of the house.  It’s time to shed your fears.  And the Church is not exempt.  For LIGHT to truly be effective it must be in the darkness.  Fear keeps the church huddled up together and contained by the darkness all around us.  After Jesus walked into that home and said, “Peace be with you” everything changed for those men and women.  They knew it was time to get out of the house.  They knew they had destiny to do.

You have destiny to do too.  Jesus has come into your house and spoken peace to you in the midst of your fears just like He did those disciples that day.  It’s time to get out of the HOUSE.  The light in you is powerful; go shine it in the darkness.  You have His peace!  Fear Not!

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341. Your Peace is in Him

Posted by John Smith on June 30, 2017

John 14:27 NKJV  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I’ve heard it said that the benediction of speaking “peace” to people or to homes one might visit was a common practice in Jesus’ days.  Still, He went further when He said, “My peace I give to you.”  His peace (being God) is one that certainly only He can impart but then Jesus went even further to differentiate it from any other form or expression of peace saying, “…not as the world gives do I give to you.”  The world’s peace in inconstant, unsettling, and transient.  It’s empty.  As soon as you find the peace it was promising you through things, wealth, power, fame, etc… you realize it is already fading and you’re on the hunt again.  This is frustrating and troubling for our hearts.  It leaves us wondering and fearing that we’ll never find it.  But there is a better way.  Embrace the Peace that Jesus left for you.

 He’s made obtaining and maintaining peace so simple.  The peace of God that only He can impart, has already been given to us through Christ Jesus.  Our job is to renew our mind and live in the reality that there is no longer a struggle to find peace.  We no longer have enmity with God.  We have been reconciled to Him and all that He has He has freely made available to us.

There is no longer any situation that has the power to overwhelm us or cause us to fear.  The peace of God has been given to us.  It is always present.  It is always near.  The peace of God is filling and fulfilling.  His peace is one that is realized through the Son.  As we grow in understanding His love for us and His grace toward us we realize the joy and the peace that the world knows not.  We become utterly secure in the reality that we are In Christ and are safe in Him no matter what the situations of life may look like don’t allow your fear to trouble you… You have HIS peace.  If you can’t find what you did with it, look back at Jesus you’ll find it in Him.

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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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335. Help is on the Way

Posted by John Smith on May 19, 2017

Luke 21:25-28 NKJV  “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;  (26)  men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  (27)  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  (28)  Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Some of my friends only read this Scripture to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem.  I have to just smile and respectfully disagree.  I’m convinced that Jesus was referring to both events the destruction of Jerusalem and the last days.  Still, Jesus said that what was going on would be do devastating that people’s heart would fail them because of fear.  The picture painted here is that people would be so overcome with fear that it would take their breath away or faint under the anxiety of what is occurring around them and the thoughts of what will come next.  Sounds horrible.

However… regardless of how you want to read this Scripture (destruction of Jerusalem, tribulation period, or both) it talks about a horrible breathe taking fear.  Fear can literally cause you to hyperventilate and “lose your breathe.”  But Jesus went on to let them know that even in this difficult time they didn’t have to fear, but could lift their heads and look up with anticipation to their coming redemption.

In other words, even in the darkest of days where there seems to be no hope in sight and only terror abounds, Jesus told us not to worry about these things.  Instead we are encouraged to look up because help is on its way.  For the Believer, you’ve already received your redemption.  But in difficult times it is easy to forget that.  In our darkest days where anxiety, worry, and fear seek to overtake us, we must remember to embrace the freedom that is our in Christ by following His advice and lift our heads to look upon Christ our Redeemer.  Even on the darkest of days, the sun is shining above the clouds.  Look to the Lord and take a deep breathe, and Fear not, help is on the way.

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333. He’s a Good, Good Father

Posted by John Smith on May 5, 2017

Luke 12:32 NLT  So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

Jesus uses the familiar imagery of a sheep and their Shepherd, which is familiar in Scripture because of how common the profession was that it makes for a great illustration to talk about the love of the Father God for His people.  Like a good shepherd for his sheep, God leads, feeds, guides, provides, watches, & protects His people.  Yet many times we still fall victim to fear that we’ll miss out or do without.  But we needn’t fear.  It is the Father’s great happiness and joy to give us all that the Kingdom has.

Jesus is telling us we don’t need to clutch the things of the world or fear we’ll do without, because the Father has given us all that Heaven holds.  We have received an inheritance of all He has and of all He is.  We are partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and in all that He possesses, which is everything (Psalm 24:1).

The Father loves providing for and protecting His children.  He takes joy leading us to places of refreshing where we can find good food, both physically and spiritually.  The Father has purposed to care for us.  All we need to do is apply Proverbs 3:5-6 and Fear NOT!

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  (6)  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

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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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309. How to Stand When Others Faint

Posted by John Smith on November 18, 2016

Matthew 28:2-7 NLT  Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.  (3)  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  (4)  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.  (5)  Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  (6)  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying.  (7)  And now, go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and He is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there. Remember what I have told you.”

The chief priests and Pharisees had convinced Pilate to place guard around the tomb of Jesus in case any of His disciples would come to steal his body because of the statements Jesus had repeatedly made about how He would rise after 3 days.  Due to the immense pressure and political tensions around this entire event my guess is that Pilate assigned some of their best soldiers to this assignment.  These soldiers were on assignment when a few ladies (Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James & Joses, and Salmone mother of James & John) came to visit the tomb probably to see if they could get in to anoint the bandages and burial cloth of Jesus better and complete the embalming process (Barnes’ Notes).

Then all of a sudden the ground begins to shake, an angel appears, rolls the stone away from the tomb and then sits on it.  The guards were so terrified that they fainted at this sight.  Yet these female disciples though they were comforted by the angel and told not to fear they didn’t fall to the ground, scream, run, or respond in any ‘natural’ symptom of fear to the supernatural scene before them. 

These ladies were well aware of who they believed Jesus was and had been around, witnessing some pretty remarkable things in the countless services, healing, and miracles they had seen.  They were more familiar with the supernatural happening in their midst, so when the angel showed up, the earth shook, and he rolled the stone away they didn’t respond in terror.  They probably were struck with some Holy Fear, but I suspect it was also accompanied by a great anticipation and excitement of what is going to happen next.

I’m not one that thinks we should go around looking or trying to manufacture the spectacular move of God in our midst, but we certainly should expect it.  And when He sends an angel or shows up in a new and remarkable way we shouldn’t be afraid like these soldiers.  Instead we should be familiar enough to His presence and His ways that when He shows up in a new way or moves in a way we’ve never seen or experienced before that we 1st recognize His genuine presence and 2nd are filled with anticipation of what God is going to do next.  Then you we stand when others faint in fear.

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305. His Hand on Your Shoulder

Posted by John Smith on October 21, 2016

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Matthew 17:5-7 NKJV  (5)  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”  (6)  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.  (7)  But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”

Peter, John & James had gone up the mountain with Jesus to pray.  While they were there some amazing things happened and even though according to Luke they fell asleep and missed most of it, they had woken up in time to see Jesus light up with the glory of God and talking to Moses and Elijah.  Peter wanted to camp out in that religious experience and build three tabernacles to worship and remember this amazing moment, when God spoke in an audible voice recapturing the awe and magnitude of the moment.  Peter, James and John fell face down in holy terror.  This was one of those, “I can’t believe I just said that” moments.  While they lie on the ground trembling in fear, Jesus approached them touched them and told them, “… do not be afraid” it is going to be ok.  I picture Jesus just putting His hand on Peter’s shoulder as He spoke those words filled with grace and compassion to His friend.

Though very few could relate to how Peter, James, and John must have felt in that moment, we have all experienced fear and moments of anxiety that filled us with at least momentarily debilitating dread.  BUT no matter what the situation is, no matter the fear, no matter the worry and no matter the dread, JESUS is right there.  He has come alongside, laid His hand on your shoulder and with grace and love filled words said, “do not be afraid.”

Praise God, what is there to fear when Jesus is near.  Jesus is with us in our most terrifying moments letting us know we don’t have to fear.  He didn’t condemn them for having fear… but He didn’t want them to stay there.  Jesus has come and made contact with broken humanity touching us with the hands of His grace and love.  Fear Not!  Jesus has come, put His hand on your shoulder and said, “…do not be afraid.”

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304. With God, Failure is NOT a Terminal Condition

Posted by John Smith on October 14, 2016

Matthew 14:28-32 NKJV  And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  (29)  So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  (30)  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”  (31)  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  (32)  And when , the wind ceased.

Have you ever started out to do something you’ve never done before and at first you are confident and full of faith that you will succeed and then it just gets hard?  You find yourself unsure of yourself and what to do next.  Your faith begins to waver and you start to sink.  You certainly wouldn’t be alone.  Maybe you took a job and after a few weeks realized it was beyond your capacity to do.  Or you joined an outreach ministry in your church and as you were ministering encountered a person who seemed to know more Scripture than God and nearly talked you out of your salvation…

Look we’ve all had moments where we step out in faith and begin to get overwhelmed by the situation.  Peter did… and Peter even failed.  If it hadn’t have been for the Lord reaching out and grabbing Peter’s hand, Peter would have drowned.  The good news is that with God with you, failure isn’t a terminal condition.  When you step into something new He is there to see you through.  If we’ll remember in the midst of the storm, we won’t have to sink or fail, instead we will keep our eyes on Him remembering and knowing that He is right there with us and we can follow His lead.  But even if we get overwhelmed and start to sink, Jesus is there too.  He’ll grab your hand and walk you safely back to the boat.  Either way He is with you and He will see you through.  Remember, “Fear calls out our doubts, God calls out our names.” – Bob Goff.  He is with you when you step into something new.  Keep your eyes on Him and go for it.  If you start to fall, He’ll catch you.  Fear Not.

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301. Cheer Up & Don’t Be Afraid

Posted by John Smith on September 23, 2016

53035-cheer-up-its-fridayMatthew 14:25-27 NKJV Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. (27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

 

You ever have one of those days that just goes on and on even spilling into the next and you’re wondering… will this day ever end? I imagine that was going through the disciples minds at some point on this day.

The previous morning they received the news that Jesus’ cousin John ‘the baptist’ had been beheaded and between wanting to encourage their friend and teacher Jesus, were probably having a very real thought that, “if he was beheaded for preaching repentance because Jesus was coming… what might they do to people who actually preach with Jesus?” Just when they thought they would get the day off because Jesus desired to spend the day alone praying; a crowd shows up and being moved by compassion Jesus spends the day ministering to them instead. The apostles spend the day ushering, directing traffic, helping Jesus minister and then waiting tables for 5000 men, not to mention the women and children present, miraculously feeding them with 5 loaves and 2 fish. When the night service was over Jesus tells the disciples to get a boat and cross to the other side of the sea, while He went off for some prayer time to get refreshed from ministry and to grieve for His cousin.

Now it is sometime between 3 and 6 in the morning and these guys probably haven’t slept any. Tired, confused and most likely worried from the day before they see Jesus walking on the water toward them and cried out in fear. Between their own physical and emotional exhaustion and seeing the laws of physics being broken, disbelieving their own hearts because they didn’t understand ‘how it was possible’, instead of rejoicing in the miraculous power of God their own intellect and lack of understanding drove them to fear.

When we get drained mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we become uber susceptible to anxiety and fear. In those moments, always listen for His voice and let it bring you peace and comfort. Let His voice and presence free you from the fear as He says, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

He knows what we are going through and is with us in the midst of it all. When you are most perplexed, overwhelmed, and exhausted in life, recognize that the Lord desires to move in your life and He might do it in a way you don’t expect. When life is going crazy and you’re worn out, “Cheer UP!” and start looking and listening for the Lord. He is right there with you even if you don’t recognize Him at first.

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