Tag: Fear not

God’s amazing mercy!

Scripture reading for May 20th: 2nd Samuel 11-12, 1st Chronicles 20, Psalm 51, 32, Acts 27

Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””

Paul, the prisoner, had sought to direct the crew and captain from sailing into what Paul knew was dangerous weather. They did not listen and for two weeks they had been buffeted by a storm and all hope of escaping was gone. Paul called them all together and shared what an angel of God had revealed to him. God was merciful and granted all who were on the ship their lives but the ship would be lost. God’s Word was true and it happened just as Paul foretold. But God’s mercy is not just to save our physical lives. As the Psalm and reading from Samuel tells us today, God is merciful to all who will call upon Him in repentance and faith. God forgives even murder and adultery for King David!

Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”

Prayer: Father, I am so thankful for Your abundant mercy and Your steadfast love of me, a sinner! Thank You for granting me life eternal through Your mercy in Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for blotting out my sins and iniquity and delivering me from death. Thank You for washing me from my sins and giving me Your righteousness. I will worship You for Your steadfast love and abundant mercy!

1st Samuel 12:13-14 “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.””

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“Fear not, little flock!”

Scripture reading for March 28th: Deuteronomy 27-31, Luke 12

Luke 12:27-31 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom and these things will be added as well.”

Each day believers have choices to make concerning how they spend the gift of time, talent, and energy. As fallen creatures, before salvation, we were driven by appetites, fear, and opinions of others. Worry and fear marked each day in most of mankind because of concern about food, water, clothes and shelter consumed most of life. Jesus spoke to His followers of a different way to spend our time and energy. He promised if we would put our effort into seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness, God would take care of our basic physical needs. Jesus then used examples of the birds and the lilies to emphasis our Father’s amazing care and provision. We as His children are of much more value and it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us our needs and even a full inheritance in His eternal kingdom! Praise our Lord!

Luke 12:32-34 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Prayer: Father God, forgive me for not always trusting You. Thank You for Your faithful provision for me and my families needs! Give me grace to know how to use the material things You have blessed me with to further Your kingdom and help lost people find righteousness and eternal life through the Gospel. I desire Your blessing and a full inheritance in Your Kingdom!

Deuteronomy 30:15-16 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord by loving the Lord your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”

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Eternal life by works?

Scripture reading for March 24th: Deuteronomy 19-22, Psalm 6, Luke 10

Luke 10:25-29 “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?””

Because of sin, all mankind is languishing in despair and doesn’t know how to inherit eternal life. The lawyer that was testing Jesus with the question about this, answered Jesus’ question back with a good answer from the Law. He advocated loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself. The story revealed God’s mercy towards us and what He desires of us. Eternal life is a gift of God’s mercy. He alone has defeated all our enemies and goes before us. He alone can heal our rebellious hearts and pour in His love.

Deuteronomy 20:2-4 “And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.'”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for being our “Neighbor” in sending Jesus Christ. Thank You for giving us the gift of eternal life by faith through Your grace and for healing our rebellious hearts. Deliver me from ever thinking I can earn eternal life. Help me today to be a neighbor to those around me and to love as You loved me and gave Yourself for me!

Psalm 6:1-2 “O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor discipline me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But You, O Lord–how long?”

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A Savior/Shepherd is born!

Scripture reading for March 14th: Numbers 26-29, Luke 2

Luke2:8-11 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.”

Moses, a shepherd himself, spoke to the Lord about his appointment of a man who could lead the flock of Israel after he was taken home to God. The Lord appointed “Joshua” (whose name corresponds to “Jesus”) to shepherd His flock. Then the Lord revealed the birth of His Son almost 1500 years later, to shepherds who were keeping the flocks of sheep used in temple sacrifice. They were filled with great fear, but the angel exhorted them to “fear not” because of the Good News of a Savior Who came from God’ The Great Shepherd of all sheep would be born in a manger and His first visitors would be lowly shepherds! Mary and Joseph were both of the lineage of David, another great shepherd who lead the flock of God.

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

Prayer: Father God, Your planning and symbolism are humbling and amazing! You give grace to the humble and You demonstrated humility by sending Your Son from heaven’s glory to a manger in a cave. I am humbled that You would do this for my salvation from the bondage of sin and for the whole world. Open doors today that I might share this Good News of a Savior and Great Shepherd to lost sheep.

Numbers 27:15-18 “Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd. So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. Make him stand before Eleazar the priest, and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in your sight.”

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Abundant strength!

Scripture reading for January 24th: Genesis 40-41; Mark 16

Mark 16:1-4 “When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, 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. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back–it was very large.”

One of life’s most impossible situations is facing a sealed tomb, covered with a large, heavy stone–dealing with death! This is an analogy of the finality of death for all mankind. Facing a tomb, guarded by soldiers and sealed with a stone, the women approached with a question: “Who will roll away the stone for us. . .” When they arrived, they looked up and behold, the stone had been rolled away and the entrance was opened! Entering, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe and they were afraid. This ‘young man’ tried to calm their fears by telling them the amazing news–Jesus Christ was not in the grave anymore! He had risen from the dead! God’s ‘abundant strength’ had rolled away the stone and raised His Son from death and the sealed tomb! The way out was opened for all who would believe!

Mark 16:5-6 “And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for calming my fear of a sealed tomb. Thank You for Your abundant strength and great mercy to send Your Son to die on a cross for my sins and the sins of the world. Thank You for the power of the sinless life that overcame death and the grave. I look up and claim that abundant strength through believing Your Word today! Open doors of opportunity to share this amazing strength and hope to a fear-filled generation.

Genesis 40:6-8 “When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

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“Peace! Be still!”

Scripture reading for January 6th: Genesis 9-11, Mark 4

Mark 4:37-41 “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?””

Life is filled with disruptions that cause us to loose our peace and bring out our fears. Fear of death, fear of pain, fear of punishment and other fears mark our lives as humans. The disciples in the boat that day were no different than us. When the storm broke upon them, they were fearful for their lives and they woke Jesus from His sleep with a serious question: Did Jesus really care for their welfare? Jesus took action, speaking to the wind and the storm. Immediately there was a great calm and the disciples were filled with even more fear! Who was this Man? How could He speak to the wind and sea? But Jesus’ Words applied to them as well! With faith they could have peace and cast out fear and live abundantly in a great calm!

Mark 4:20 “But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for delivering us from fear through the Word of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Help me to remember these words of Jesus to the wind and sea and chose faith instead of fear. Thank You for the New Covenant of eternal life in Jesus Christ and the privilege of using Jesus’ Name to confront storms and waves in my own life. Deliver those bound with fear through the Good News of Jesus today!

Genesis 9:8-11 “I establish My covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations. I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of My covenant between Me and the earth.””

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Truly the Son of God

Scripture reading for July 16th: Matthew 14

Key Scriptures: Matthew 14:26-33 “But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.””

Jesus sent His disciples across the lake by boat while He dismissed the crowd of five thousand that had just been fed with the five loaves and two fish. Jesus went up on the mountain alone to pray. During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them walking on the rough waves of the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were afraid and cried out that it was a ghost. Jesus calmed their fears by speaking to them. Peter, still wanting more confirmation that it was Jesus, asked to come to Him on the water. Jesus called him to come. Peter got out of the boat and began to walk until the wind and waves got his attention off of Jesus. He began to sink and called out to Jesus to save him! Jesus quickly took him by his hand and lifted him out of the water and escorted him back to the boat. The wind ceased and the rebuked disciples worshiped Jesus as “Truly the Son of God!” Arriving at Gennesaret, a great crowd brought sick and asked for a touch and were healed.

Matthew 14:35-36 “And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent around to all that region and brought to Him all who were sick and implored Him that they might only touch the fringe of His garment. And as many as touched it were made well.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, truly the Son of God! Forgive my “little faith” and doubting Who You are in all the trials and storms of life. Reveal Yourself to me and those You send me to love. May I touch them in Your Name and see healing and salvation and multiplied disciples, to Your glory.

Acts 5:15-16 “. . .so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”

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‘Fear’ and ‘Fear not’!

Scripture reading for July 12th: Matthew 10

Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:28-33 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him Who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father Who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in heaven.”

There is a cost associated with following Jesus Christ. As Jesus was sending out the Twelve apostles on a mission, He carefully explained that they would be going out as lambs among wolves (10:16) and they would suffer persecution and hatred because of His Name. He told them to have no fear of those persecuting them but rather to have a reverent fear of God Himself, Who alone could destroy soul and body in hell. Jesus reminded them that God even numbers the hairs on our heads so He knows all things and holds His people closely. As followers of Jesus, His disciples must never be ashamed and freely confess Him before men, even our own family. Those that shrink back and deny Jesus will find that Jesus will deny them before His Father. Thus we have “fear not” men who hate and misuse you but “fear” Him before Whom we must give an account.

Matthew 10:34 “”Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I hold You in awe and respect for Who You are. Thank You for this clear instruction on the cost of following Jesus, Your Son. Empower me today to boldly and without fear declare my faith with my own household and the harvest field You send me to.

Daniel 12:2-3 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt. And those that are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

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“Do not be afraid!”

Scripture reading for May 12th: Acts 27

Key Scriptures: Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””

God likes to encourage His people when they are in the midst of a trial. Paul was a prisoner of Rome, being transported from Caesarea to Rome during the winter. As it got later and later, sailing became more treacherous with the stronger winter storms. Paul had advised the captain not to set sail. Of course, who was Paul to give him advice? They set sail anyway and a terrible storm caused them all to despair of life. After 14 days of constant wind and waves, Paul had an angelic visitor with a word of knowledge. He shared it with the crew and others while boasting on God and His mercy. He spoke out in faith and it happened just as he had been told. The ship was lost but all survived by God’s amazing grace!

Acts 27:43 “But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for encouraging words of knowledge when Your people are in dangerous situations. It is comforting to know that in every situation, You are with us and for us! Use me to give words of knowledge and encouragement as fearful times come.

Proverbs 4:13 “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”

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“Do not Fear! Only Believe!”

Scripture reading for January 22nd: Mark 5

Key Scriptures: Mark 5:21-24; 35-36 “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about Him, and He was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And He went with him.” . . .”While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.””

Jesus was approached by a synagogue ruler, Jairus, with a desperate request. He had a little daughter who was near death. He approached Jesus with great humility and asked for a personal visit by Jesus and the laying on of His hands. As they went, Jesus was interrupted by a woman with an issue of blood. He took time to minister to her and free her from her long infirmity. As Jesus was speaking to her, He overheard some messengers from Jairus’s house tell him not to bother the Teacher, as the little girl was dead. Jesus spoke authoritatively, “Do not fear, only believe.” The result was an amazing raising of the 12 year old girl from sickness and death. All were amazed at the immediate miracle!

Jeremiah 32:26-27 “The Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for Me?”‘

Faith confession and prayer: You are the Lord of all and nothing is too hard for You! Lord Jesus, help me to defeat all fear and hold fast to You and Your unfailing Word. Use me to speak Your Word and live by faith, inspiring others to trust You and Your eternal Word.

John 11:40 “Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

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