Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Do Not Be Afraid

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:  Luke 2:10

"Do Not be Afraid" has been a theme in my Bible reading. The message comes from two very different passages I have read this week.  First I read the story of God giving Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. God tells Moses to tell the people "Do not be afraid." I read it again during our family advent reading plan when the Angels appeared to the shepherds in the field to give them the good news of the Savior's birth.  

On first glance- the phrase "Do not be afraid" is the only thing that brings these passages together. As I thought about it more I realized in both situations God was giving his Word.   As John 1:1 declares "In the beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."  Jesus was the Word of God- the law fulfilled.  

The Word was the essence of God - He is truth and light, love and sacrifice, grace and justice.  

Yet God had to tell the people "Do not be afraid."  I often have to tell myself not to be afraid of the things that God has for me.  I have to remind myself that every Good and perfect gift comes down from the father of heavenly lights (James 1:17).  When God gave the law to the Hebrews he gave it for their benefit to bless them. When he gave Jesus, he gave his son because he loved the world. When He sent the Holy Spirit was because he wanted to bless us and allow us to experience supernatural gifts that will bless us and others.  It is for our good.  

My friend Kathleen called me up last week afraid.  Along with my friend Kathy, we are leading a Bible Study next month on the Five Love Languages and a complimentary book on the five languages of saying sorry.    Kathleen is going the lead the part on apologies.  Kathleen said to me "Penny I am afraid of leading this class with you.  If I am going to teach this - I know I have to walk through it and I don't think I want to." 

I completely understood her fear.  I have often been afraid of the things God might call me to do.  Many years ago I was afraid to do the Bible Study Experiencing God because I heard people's lives were changed after doing it- I was afraid of how God might change me.  They were right- it was life changing.  It was the best change ever- God softened my heart toward being a mom.  Why was I afraid? 

I was afraid of being a stay at home mom- I truly didn't know who I was without a career to identify myself.  Being at home has been such a gift and taught me that God is my provider and my satisfaction. 
I have been afraid of blogging and writing on so many levels yet I have learned so much and experienced the joy of understanding Truth and having others understand it too.   

I explained to my friend Kathleen something I often tell myself
"I have nothing to fear.  
What God has in store for me is a blessing.  
He wants to give us good gifts. 
He wants to set us free to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  
We have nothing to fear from our true love, our Heavenly Father, our all knowing and ever faithful God."   

What if the shepherds had allowed their fear to paralyze them from going to worship the newborn king? The shepherds would have missed out on coming face to face with the Messiah.  Their presence didn't change Jesus' destiny but they would have missed a life-changing and amazing blessing.  
What if the people of Israel had let fear keep them from embracing God who gave them the law to bless and protect them?   

Have you let fear keep your from fully worshiping the King of Kings?  Have you let fear keep you from accepting things you don't understand? Have you let fear keep you in a place of slavery and bondage?  

Do not be afraid - these words are simple and life changing.  Try it. Your life will be transformed.  

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