365. Quench Your Pastor’s Fears 2

0306_market_fears_400x400-300x3002 Corinthians 12:20-21 NLT  For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.  (21)  Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

Last week we touched on Paul’s greatest fears that your pastor shares.  Your pastor fears that the people he pours his life into will lose the purity and simplicity of the Gospel message and their devotion to Jesus.  In 2 Corinthians 12:20-21 Paul lists a number of things that he was afraid he might see upon a visit to the church in Corinth.  Honestly, there have been a number of days I’ve been afraid about what I was going to see or deal with when I arrived at our local church.  Today I want to help both pastors with this fear and empower congregants to help their pastor too.

If you’re a pastor or serving in any ministry, you’ve experience that fearful thought sometimes too.  Here is what you can do.

  1. Stay steady. Keep it simple.  Keep doing what you are doing and don’t quit.  You are making a difference. 2 Corinthians 11:12
  2. Never preach people into bondage with fear tactics. Preach God’s grace and never put people down when they fail. 2 Corinthians 11:20-21
  3. Serve Jesus. Your faithfulness will pay off. 2 Corinthians 11:23
  4. Work hard. Give it all you’ve got and leave it all on the court. 2 Corinthians 11:27

If you aren’t in ministry… wait, what? Stop right here. You should be. Jesus gave the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher to the Church for the purpose of preparing and equipping you to fulfill the ministry you are called to.  It might not be a church or Sunday morning ministry, it might be a ministry to other business leaders, lawyers, or sales clerks, but you have been called in the ministry and you have one.  That said, live a life of repentance.  Get right with God and stop it!  If you need help, your pastor and church leadership are there to support you.  Be faithful to your local church, support the vision there, grow up in the Lord, and help your pastor raise up more leaders that will do the same.

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353. Alethephobia – Fear of Hearing the Truth

truth

Acts 24:24-25 NKJV  And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  (25)  Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

 “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”  In essence they found truth or heard truth, but quickly chose to ignore it instead of taking action because of it.  The main reason people do this is fear.  They are afraid of the responsibility that comes with the Truth they hear and how this truth impact their life.  They fear what the truth means for them.

Alethephobia is the fear of hearing the truth.  Not to be confused with veritaphobia, which is the fear of telling the truth.  Felix, the governor of Judea, had heard the reports about Jesus and the message that His followers shared and had a general understanding of what Christians believed.  But as Paul shared the In Him realities of how a relationship with Christ impacted ones righteousness, nature, and eternity, Felix became terrified.  He recognized that what Paul was saying was true and it scared him.  It frightened him because he knew that meant that for him to embrace this faith would be the end of his governorship and many would no longer respect him.

People often fear and hate the disclosure of truth, because it carries with it and self-perceived insult to their own narcissism (narcissistic insults).  Although they see a plain reality, it offends their ego.  So in effort to avoid the bruised ego and the fear of that it means, they hold onto their previous ideas for dear life, limiting the extent of both their intellect and their personal freedom.  They choose to be in bondage to a lie, instead of freed by the truth.

Some Christians do this too.  They selectively hear certain divine truths, while carefully avoiding others that challenge their personal comfort zone or compel them to take action.  The Lord wants to help you grow and walk in all the freedom he died to provide you.  John 1:1 calls Jesus the Word and John 17:17 tells us His Word is truth.  So the Lord will speak truth to you through His Spirit, His Word, and even His people that will challenge how you see Him, the world, or even (gulp) YOURSELF.

When you find yourself hearing things that makes you uncomfortable, search them out.  Examine it and make sure it says what you are hearing and that it isn’t being twisted in some way (Oh and make sure you don’t twist and try to rationalize the Scripture either), ask for clarification or further teaching instead of trying to ignore it, and then act on the truth.  The truth about ourselves is often hard to hear and can be scary, but it is necessary for us to live truly free. Don’t fear hearing the truth.

 

321. Are You Afraid of the Truth?

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.Mark 11:28-33 NKJV  And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”  (29)  But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:  (30)  The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”  (31)  And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’  (32)  But if we say, ‘From men’ “—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.  (33)  So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

People lie for all kinds of reasons.  People lie to try to obtain favor.  People lie to make themselves look better.  People lie to get stuff, to hurt others, and people lie because they are afraid.  These guys didn’t really care about the answer or what the truth was, they were afraid of being wrong and losing prestige.  They were afraid of the Truth so they didn’t tell the truth.

Never be afraid to speak the truth.  People that are afraid to tell the truth are often also afraid of the truth.  A commitment to honesty, honest interactions with others and living a life of transparency devoid of deception is a surefire way to destroy the power of fear in your life.