Tag: Fear not

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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Fear Not!

Scripture reading for May 7th:  1st Samuel 26-27, 1 Chronicles 8, Acts 18

Key Scriptures:  Acts 18:5-10  “When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the Word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.  And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads!  I am innocent.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.  And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.  His house was next door to the synagogue.  Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household.  And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.””

Paul was experiencing opposition from the Jews in Corinth.  He followed Jesus’ advice and shook out his garment and went to the Gentiles.  In spite of this, the Jewish leader of the synagogue was saved along with his own household!  Jesus spoke to Paul in a vision telling him to speak out without fear because He was with him.  Many more were “His people” in Corinth and needed to hear the Gospel preached.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to not be silent or afraid to boldly share the Good News and reap the harvest You desire from my city.  I believe You have many that You will save!

1st Samuel 26:24 “Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord and may He deliver me out of all tribulation.”  

 

 

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Following Jesus without fear!

Scripture reading for March 17th:  Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 36, Luke 5

Key Scriptures: Luke 5:8-11 “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  For He and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.  And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”  

Simon Peter, James and John were experienced fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  They had fished all night and caught nothing.  Jesus met them as they were returning and told them to let down the net for a catch.  A great harvest of fish ensued and Peter was brought under conviction and holy fear.  Jesus spoke reassuringly to them and invited them to join Him in fishing for men!

Deuteronomy 1:21 “See, the Lord your God has set the land before you.  Go up and take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Faith Confession:  At Your Word, Lord, I will follow You and fish for men.  I trust in Your promise to be with me and empower me to walk in faith with no fear of man.

Psalm 36:7-8 “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!  The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights.”  

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Treasure in heaven!

Scripture reading for March 19:  Luke 12, Psalm 56, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures: 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.”  

Jesus, calling His disciples, ‘little flock’, instructed them in the amazing grace and provision of God, His Father.  The Father delighted to give His Son’s followers the kingdom of heaven.  It was a gift of His mercy and grace.  Jesus told them that an appropriate faith response to this great gift would be to give away what they had here to the poor and needy.  This demonstration of faith would open up to them the permanent treasury in heaven.  They would find all their needs met in Christ Jesus and His amazing kingdom!

Faith Confession:  Jesus, thank You for including me in Your flock!  Help me to be generous with what You have blessed me with here so that I will have true riches in You in heaven.  You are my Treasure in heaven.

Psalm 56:13  “For You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of Life.”

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Cast those cares!

Scripture reading for November 13th:  Ezekiel 2-5, 1st Peter 5

Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 5:6-9  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Living in faith requires humility.  We who believe must entrust all of our lives to God–the good and the trials of suffering.  We must stay alert to the tricks of the enemy of our souls and resist the fear he tries to stir up.  God cares for you and has promised to exalt you at the proper time.  Cast those cares and resist the devil and his roars!

Ezekiel 2:6 “And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for caring for me and the promise of eternal life with You.  Help me to cast all my cares and worries on You today.  Amen.

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