Tag: Fear not
Scripture reading for November 14th: Acts 15-19
Key Scriptures: Acts 18:9-11 “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking; do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.”
Paul was a missionary who went to places where the Gospel had not yet been preached or the way of God taught. Sometimes he faced hostilities, persecution, and threats of death. But God gave him a vision and words of encouragement. He told Paul to keep on speaking and not to be afraid! There was a great harvest to be gained from this city where he was then ministering. God was with him to empower and protect him as he fearlessly preached and taught!
God’s word to Jeremiah–“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, and iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land–against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you for I am with you and will rescue you,” declared the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:17-19)
Scripture reading for October 10th: Zechariah 8-11
Key Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9-10 “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
Zechariah called God’s people to rejoice greatly! This was because of the coming King. This King would be righteous and gentle and be marked by riding on the foal of a donkey. This was a contrast to the conquering kings who rode horses of war. This King would proclaim peace and His rule would cover the entire earth! He is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ!
Rejoice in the gentle King: “The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-14)
Scripture reading for May 9th: Nehemiah 3-6
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 4:13-14 “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.””
Nehemiah was a wise leader who acted in faith and courage. He surveyed the situation and stationed the people as needed and encouraged them not to live in fear but to work and fight in faith. This faith was based in their Lord, who was great and awesome and who would fight for them!
Thankful for courage: Jesus Christ has said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)
Scripture reading for April 28th: 2nd Chronicles 17-21
Key Scriptures: 2nd Chronicles 20:15, 17, “He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem.'”
King Jehoshaphat was in a hard place militarily. He was outnumbered and did not know what to do, so he prayed to God and looked for His help. God answered with this prophetic word of victory and encouragement. The battle was not Israel’s to fight, but God would bring the victory as they stood in faith!
Rejoicing in God’s Victory: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1st Corinthians 15:57-58)
Scripture reading for November 30th: Revelation 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Revelation 1:17-18 “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
John, the disciple who Jesus loved, wrote the final book of our Bible. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ! As John was worshiping God while imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos, he was given a vision of Jesus Christ standing before Him in resurrection glory. This caused John to fall down as a dead man! Jesus put His hand on him and spoke to him in words of revelation and reassurance! As One who tasted death for all mankind, and now was risen victorious over death, Jesus told John that He now possessed the keys of death and Hades and was alive for ever and ever!
Observations for over-comers: The resurrected Christ hold our key over death and Hades and tells us not to fear anything! “But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever–yes, for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:18)
Scripture reading for May 29th: Acts 18
Paul had left Athens and went on to Corinth. There he joined up with Jewish believers Aquila and his wife Priscilla, who were tent-makers like he was. Paul devoted himself to preaching exclusively to the Jews, proclaiming Jesus as the Christ. This caused dissension and the Jews became abusive. Paul shook out his clothes and warned them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6)
Paul moved his preaching base to a home in Corinth and had many converts who were baptized. “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid: keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.” (Acts 18:9-11)
The Holy Spirit brought a vision to Paul on this missionary journey. This vision gave some specific instructions. First of all, Paul was not to be afraid of any opposition or persecution that might come his way. The Lord promised that he would be kept safe! He also told Paul to keep on preaching! This was no time to be silent or shrink back or even to move on to another field! God had many more people that would be reached in this city where he was now placed.
Are you worried about persecution or opposition? Do you keep silent when you know the Good News is needed? Let this Scripture and vision to Paul encourage you today to be bold and strong! Fear not! Open your mouth and share the Gospel! God will bring in the harvest!
Scripture reading for July 30th: Isaiah 44-48
God is a God of all comfort and one of the ways He comforts us is to encourage us to let go of fear and trust Him. It is said that the term “fear not” or variations of this phrase is used 366 times in the Bible. This means that there are enough verses for every day of the year–even leap year! Let’s look as some things God encourages us to not be afraid of and see our hope begin to rise!
In Isaiah 43:1-3, God told His people to not be afraid when they passed through the rivers or walked through the fire. He had redeemed them and they belonged to Him. He promised to be with them and protect them no matter what the trouble. He would ransom them and gave His word!
In Isaiah 44:1-5, God told His people not to fear for their children! We can trust the Lord to pour out His Spirit on our offspring and His blessing on our descendants. When we follow the Lord and live by faith, God takes care of our kids. He is able to guide them and help them to choose to walk by faith too! Let’s say “amen” to this promise!
In Isaiah 44:6-8, God encouraged His people to not be afraid of the future. He was their redeemer and the Almighty Lord who has all power and knowledge. He knows the future and holds it in His hands. He will be a Rock for those who fear of the future. Trusting in Him can make us truly free!
We can give up fearing old age and the weakness and frailty associated with it. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you, I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4) What’s there to be afraid of anyway? We are people of faith and please God by trusting Him in everything! “Fear Not!”
Scripture reading for July 30th: Isaiah 44-48
Comfort is needed when people have been through the fire of judgment or discipline. God is a God of all comfort and one of the ways He comforts us is to encourage us not to be afraid. It is said that the term “fear not” or variations of this phrase is used 366 times in the Bible. This means that there are enough verses for every day of the year–even leap year! God knows we need this encouragement.
In Isaiah 43:1-3, God tells His people to not be afraid when they pass through the rivers or walk through the fire. He has redeemed them and they belong to Him. He promised to be with them and protect them no matter what the trouble. He will ransom them and redeem them and gives His word!
In Isaiah 44:1-5, God tells His people to not be afraid for their children! We can trust the Lord to pour out His Spirit on our offspring and His blessing on our descendants. When we follow the Lord and live by faith, God takes care of our kids. He is able to guide them and help them to choose to walk by faith too! Let’s say “amen” to this promise and live free from fear for our children’s future.
In Isaiah 44:6-8, God encourages His people to not be afraid of the future. He is their redeemer and is the Almighty Lord who has all power and knowledge. He knows the future and holds it in His hands. He is a Rock for those who are in fear of the future. Trusting in Him can make us truly free!
The last thing we can give up fearing is old age and the weakness and frailty associated with it. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you, I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4) Sounds like God can handle us in old age, too, doesn’t it? What’s there to be afraid of anyway? We are people of faith and please God by trusting Him in everything! “Fear Not!”
Scripture reading for October 1st: Zechariah 7-8
In Zechariah’s day, the people were fasting in four different months. They had started this practice during the exile as a sign to God of their mourning over sin. Now that they were back in Jerusalem, they sought to know whether they should continue this practice. (Zechariah 7:2-3) God spoke to them by asking them some questions: “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past 70 years, was it really for Me that you fasted? And when eating and drinking, were you not feasting for yourselves?” (Zechariah 7:5-6) God knew that their religious rituals were not done from the heart but in form only. He tried to get them to admit this and repent.
God is after real heart change. “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In you hearts do not think evil of each other.'” (Zechariah 7:9-10) True fasting produces results in our daily lives. (Isaiah 58:6-14) It is demonstrated by mercy and compassion on those who are broken and wounded. The widows and fatherless are of particular concern to God as well as the alien and poor. His people must not judge or speak evil, but work to build up and encourage those who are hurting.
God’s people did not respond earlier and because of their hardened hearts, He judged them by sending a whirlwind and scattering them among the nations. God put the blame on His people for their failure to respond to His word through the prophets. (Zechariah 7:13-14)
But God was now restoring Jerusalem and would again come and dwell among His people. They were to pay heed to His word and live a truly fasted life of compassion and service to their fellow men. God would bless their city, land, and personal lives as they obeyed. This required courage and a life consecrated to God. “Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts, do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord. (Zechariah 8:15b-17) True fasting is worked out in our lives each day. It is the state of a heart consecrated to God.
Greetings and good tidings of courage and hope from Jesus Christ! His perfect love drives out all fear and gives us peace and rest. Sunday’s are great days to stop doing the ordinary and to gather with God’s people to contemplate the Almighty and worship Him.
What are some of the reasons people give for staying away from church? In an article for On Mission, author Diane Butts sites ten reasons why people skip church. The number one reason was that people in the church are hypocrites and being afraid to become one themselves. The second sited reason was that it was the only morning that they could sleep in! I guess they were afraid of falling asleep in church since that was their day to sleep! Another reason was having no good clothes to wear and being afraid people would look at them if they weren’t dressed properly. For others it was a fear of not knowing anyone and not knowing what to expect.
It is interesting that these reasons all have an element of fear in them. God only honors faith and in fact tells us not to fear over three hundred and sixty times in the Bible. “Fear not” is mentioned numbers of times in the last 27 chapters of Isaiah. God knows that sin has caused us to have fears and succumb to them at times. He calls us to courage and faith. If you are making silly excuses for not gathering with God’s people, begin a new week by resolving to walk in courage and attend church! You’ll be blessed!
“But now, this is what the Lord says–He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name and you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)
In His Love, Pastor John