To Fear or not To Fear
Loving Lord, You know the fears I have. I give them to You and ask for help to overcome them.
Read LUKE 12:1-12
 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.  “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.  But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.  And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy were the disciples told not to be afraid?
Fear is sometimes good; a healthy fear of the sea, for example, may keep a man from drowning. But unfounded fears may paralyze, and prevent us from living fruitful lives. How does one decide whether to “fear” or to “fear not”?
Jesus tells his disciples (1) to fear God (5). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). Someone suggested that if we fear only God, we fear nothing else; but if we don’t fear God, we fear everything else. It’s because they fear God that Jesus’ disciples need not fear anyone else (4).
Various factors may cause fear. Fear of what others might think may cause us to be hypocritical; but Jesus warns that Pharisee-style hypocrisy (1) won’t survive God’s searching judgment (2,3). Fear of unpleasant consequences may cause us to deny or hide our allegiance to Jesus, but this, too, has eternal consequences (9,10). When frightening events overtake us, we can take comfort from knowing that help is always on hand (11,12), and that our ultimate destiny lies in the hands of One who is all-powerful (5b), all-knowing and loving (6,7).
Note any real fears that you have. What negative effects are they having? How can God help you overcome them?
Lord, help me be bold in owning my faith in public places. I want to show that I trust You in all things.
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