THE NEW YEAR IS UPON US……


Jeremiah 29:11-14 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  NIV

The context of this passage was the LORD speaking to Israel about their return from Babylonian captivity. After 70 years there would be an awakening and God’s plan would be put into play.  Israel would seek Him and find Him as they sought Him with their whole heart.  As we come to the last day of 2020 my heart cries out for us to Look Forward rather than Backward.

God has plans for us individually and collectively and those plans include a Hope and a Future!  In any situation or time when people truly begin to seek the LORD with a whole heart, He demonstrates His power and reveals Himself to them.  He has promised that if we Seek Him, we will Find Him.  He is not trying to hide from us or make knowing His will, plan, or purpose difficult or impossible to discern.  It is in God’s interest for us to Know what He wants and then to do what He directsHiding that from us would not serve the purposes of the Kingdom.

Rather than looking back on the disappointments of 2020 let’s look toward the possibilities of 2021.  Rather than lamenting over the failures of the past let’s look toward the victories of the future.  Tomorrow or tonight at 12:01 AM the year 2021 will have fully begun and God will still be God and His plan and purpose for our lives will still be real and possible.  Nothing anyone or any power can do will change that!  The devil may try and will try to get you to lose focus on the prime objective and discourage you but resist his temptations. Fix your focus squarely on the Throne of Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Take these words in Jeremiah as your personal word from the Lord for 2021 and enter this New Year with HOPE, FAITH, ENTHUSIASM, and CONFIDENCE!

None of us saw, in totality, what we wanted to see in 2020, although we may have seen some significant and wonderful things.  The New Year affords us somewhat of a clean slate and we have the opportunity to begin on January 1, 2021, a journey of faith that will be the most exciting and productive year of our lives.

May God be with you as you go through your day!

FORGIVENESS – – How Much Do You Owe?


Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.“ NKJV

If you will notice from verse twenty-three on Jesus tells one of the incredible parables about ‘forgiveness’ and/or the lack thereof.  We have the king, the servant he forgave, and the servant whom this servant refused to forgive.  In verse thirty-two when the king finds out about this, he summons the unforgiving servant and said, “You wicked servant!  I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.”  Incredible!

I have learned that in Christianity or Christian circles so often the claim to spirituality fails miserably on the forgiveness front.  We are to forgive ‘just as…’ but here we see something of what is involved in forgiveness and unforgiveness.  We read this story with a Western mentality and miss some of the revelations provided.  The coinage is important for they do not speak in dollars and cents they talk about talents and denarii so we must wrap our heads around a society over 2,000 years ago and hear what they heard.  They are hearing it from one of the most astounding storytellers of all time, Jesus. 

The servant was brought before the king and owed ten thousand talents.  We have little concept of talents and/or denarii so what does that equate to for us?  10,000 talents = 6,000 denarii and the average worker earned about 6 denarii a week.  It would take 1,000 weeks (20 years) to earn 1 talent but this is 10,000 x 1000 weeks.  What is Jesus saying?  The debt was impossible to repay. 

The annual taxes for Judea, Galilee, Samaria, Pariea, and Idemoea were only about 800 talents total and this man owes 10,000 talents.  Can you feel this?  The man pleads for an extension and the king refused to give an extension but rather released and forgave the debt.  It is important to see both words in this context.  The king let the man go free!  It is important that we understand that debts do not just go away.  In a real sense, the king paid the debt and it was an incredibly costly act of benevolence on his part.  The wages of sin are death and Jesus paid our debt!   This is more than just an act of benevolence that can be causally passed over it is astounding!

This servant missed the awesomeness of this act of the king for we find him confronting another who owed him 100 denarii.  I hope you comprehend this.  100 Denair is 1/600,000th of the debt the other was forgiven.  100 denarii amount to a sizable debt but payable.  If you converted 10,000 talents into nickels it would take 8,600 men carrying sacks of nickels weighing 60 pounds each.  If they walked with about 3 feet between them the line would be 5 miles long but if you take 100 denarii and convert it to nickels you could carry it in your pocket.  Are you catching this? 

The debtors used identical words asking for patience. One was forgiven an unpayable sum and the other refused patience for a payable sum.  When we forgive, we release, or we have not forgiven!  We unlock the prison and let them walk free for we are releasing them to God!   Likewise, when we refuse to forgive, we put them in chains and in so doing bring to ourselves incredible hurt.  There will never be a moment of peace as a result we cannot retrieve that which is owed and the wound festers and grows.

Notice the king did not intervene it was a matter between servants.  One person with an unforgiving spirit can wreck the local congregation.  Remember the account of Achan?  One man affected the entire nation of Israel.  When I refuse to forgive, I am blocking the supply route spiritually to that person and affecting the entire body.  I won’t get into it at this time. 

If you read the rest of the story you find that the king called the unforgiving servant back in and ultimately turned him over to the torturers due to his unforgiving heart.  The king did not reverse his decision he and his family were not thrown into prison as was first decreed.  No, he was handed over to the torturers until the debt was paid which it would never be.  They were Middle Eastern bill collectors and nasty folks at that.  They came by regularly as a reminder and although he was still in his home and his family not sold as slaves it was mentally, physically, and emotionally draining.  He left the other servant in jail, so he clearly did not fully grasp the concept and understand the enormity of forgiveness.

Here is what I want you to catch. In verse thirty-five Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespass.”  Remember the words of the Lord, “Forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors.”  Sin is our debt we owe God and it is a debt that can never be satisfied by man.  I owe and must pay, but I cannot pay for you cannot forgive yourself and wipe away sin.  But Jesus comes and forgives us and opens the supply routes so that we can be free.  If I have been forgiven an unpayable debt how can I refuse to forgive pocket change? 

How often shall I forgive my brother?   The message of Jesus was an infinite number of times if necessary.  It was to be done remembering our own forgiveness!  You will hurt me if you fail to forgive me, but you will hurt yourself even more.  When we forgive, we release those we have forgiven, and the life flow of God comes to us like a refreshing river.

May God be with you as you go through this day!

THE SCHISMS AND DIVISIONS…


1 Corinthians 1:10-17 – “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”  NASB

Most of the time I do not have a significant problem with people following different elements within the Body of Christ as their primary worship center or foundation of faith and practice!  That being said, sometimes I wonder how the heart of God is grieved when we separate, alienate, and seek to annihilate others from differing denominations over schisms and points of faith because we believe that we and we alone are right and they are not only wrong but heretical in their beliefs.

I do not expect everyone to believe exactly what I believe.  However, I do ask that we accept what the Bible teaches and allow the Word of God to be the true and final interpreter of God’s Tenets and Truths.  Paul exhorted the Church in Corinth along these lines urging them to settle or move away from divisions and schisms.  Those divisions were not only points of disagreement but points of separation doing damage to the efforts of the fledgling Church of Jesus Christ.  He went through his list of people identifying with a particular personality as their argument and basis for their rightness.  That is no different than the hordes of people who not just proudly but divisively declare, I’m this or that regarding a particular denomination or non-denominational denomination.

Several years ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “You are too exclusive and not open to some outside your group and I want to use them to speak to you.”  I attended some conferences and meetings where men and women were speaking that in the past I had severely criticized as being in gross error.  The Holy Spirit instructed me to LISTEN and that in doing so I would find more to applaud than to criticize. 

At one conference the main speaker preached a message that so stirred my heart I developed several series of messages from his message. God used him to speak a truth to my heart that in a very real way changed my outlook on many things.  The church he was leading and a part of were putting the principles of the gospel in practice and while I still do not agree with all he taught or teaches I will allow the Holy Spirit to speak to me through whatever means He chooses.

I realize that some will say I am compromising my faith and I hope that is incorrect.  I do not excuse or wink at sin nor will I sit silently when I hear what I believe to be heresy taught.  That is especially true regarding those with those whom I have any influence or responsibility.  I always attempt to separate the message from the messenger and identify what I believe the Bible says while refusing to focus on the personality.  If that is compromise, then I guess I am guilty.  But in my desire to do what the Spirit of God instructed me I will follow this practice and ask you to disagree disagreeably if you choose.

May God be with you as you go through your day!

REASONABLE SERVICE???


Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” NASB

The New American Standard Bible renders this ‘spiritual service of worship’.  The KJV and NKJV – – ‘reasonable service.’  I believe both are correct in the translation of the verbiage and applicable.

The idea presented by the apostle Paul is that we present to God our bodies (temples of clay), as Living and Holy sacrifices of service.  We are also instructed to reject being conformed to the world and receive the Transformation of our spirits by the renewing of our minds and thereby prove or demonstrate the Will of God for our lives in our present world.

If we are to fulfill what we call The Great Commission and take the Gospel message to the world some things must transpire.  If we, as living stones, in the Body of Christ are to be fitly framed into a Spiritual House for God’s service and purposes it is imperative that we seek to have Paul’s instructions become practical and daily realities in our lives.  We are told in Scripture that we are not our own but have been bought with a price thus identifying that we belong to God and His purpose, will, and desire is to be paramount in our lives.

When we present these temples of clay to the Lord, we are to be mindful that defiling these temples is not an acceptable option.  We are to be mindful that while, as Paul declared, bodily exercise profits little he did not say it profited nothing, and seeking to be fit and healthy should be a reasonable objective physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  However, I believe that verse is directed at far more than our individual temporal or physical bodies but the Body of Christ.  We need to be whole to be the best we can be for the Kingdom of God.

I am not a fitness freak so don’t think that this is my focus.  I have learned after years of neglect and lack of discipline that when I discipline my physical body, I am better able to walk in spiritual discipline.  I have made a lifestyle choice that includes a desire and effort to walk in health.  Yes, I still battle sickness from time to time but my desire and effort are to present God with the best temple of clay I can give Him and expect Him to develop in me the best spiritual man that can be viewed from this temple.  I also want to present to Him the best stone in the Body of Christ possible.  I am pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.  I have not arrived but see the goal and I am looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.  I want what the angels declared in the field to the shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth – – “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men.”

May God be with you as you go through your day!

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY…


2 Corinthians  5:10 – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  NKJV

Galatians 6:5 – “For each one shall bear his own load.”  NKJV

Proverbs 28:13 – “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” NKJV

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that we are not pawns to some providence or outside circumstance and that God does and will hold us accountable for our individual actions.  Each of us will stand before God and give account for our lives.  We will give an account for what we have committed and omitted in life.  Sometimes our sin of omissions is as great, or greater, than our sin of commission.

We have an assignment in life or assignments in life and have a responsibility or responsibilities to perform.  If we are parents, the training of our children in the way they should go is an awesome responsibility that we will answer to God for our success or failure on that front.  In our interpersonal dealings with others, whether that falls into the category of business, social interaction, or some other arena we will give account.  We will give an account as to our witness via our words as well as our demonstrated lives.  We will not be able to blame society, our environment, our parents, the church, the government, or anything else.  We will own our lives at that point and God will accept no excuses.  He has given us the guidebook by which to live and if we have ignored it or tried to over analyze it or intellectualize it we do so to our peril.

I have discovered that some of the greatest victories of my life were those times when I stood, as a man, and took responsibility for my actions.  I’ve seen that turn hearts to God and diffuse volatile situations that could have escalated into church splits or even physical violence.  I’ve seen hard men broken when they heard me admit my failure and accept responsibility in an attitude of repentance and humility.  I’ve seen families restored when this action is taken.  I’ve seen estranged relationships in long term friendships restored through this action.

My brothers and sisters in ChristWE ARE RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE for our actions and attitudes, so refuse to blame anything else and just man up.  It will prove to be liberating even if it is not accepted by those wounded in the process leading up to your acknowledgment.  You will be free like never before!

May God be with you as you go through your day!  Blessings abundantly!

THE PRAYER…OUR PRAYER…


Matthew 6:9-13 – “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” NKJV

When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray this is the prayer that He gave them as a guide.  It is so powerful and sadly has become something committed to memory and uttered frequently with little thought as to what is being said.

Let’s consider it briefly:

  1. It begins by recognizing the Heavenly Father as Hallowed.
  2. It moves to the recognition that His Will is preeminent overall in both heaven and on earth.
  3.  It recognizes that our daily provisions and life come from Him.
  4. It recognizes and acknowledges that He is the one who can forgive.
  5. It acknowledges our responsibility to forgive others remembering our own forgiveness.
  6. It seeks His help, guidance, and enablement to not succumb to temptation and to be protected and delivered from the work of evil.
  7. It concludes with the recognition of God’s Position, Power, and Permanence.

If that won’t get your motor running your engine is dead.  As you pray this prayer think about what is being said, acknowledged, and requested.  I believe that as you do you will view life differently and others with a different perspective.

May God be with you as you go through your day!  Blessings

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…


Luke 2:1-20 – “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Glory in the Highest.  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” NKJV

            May today be a day that is long remembered as a very special and blessed day in your lives!  God bless and keep you is my prayer – – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

GOD USED AN EVIL RULER TO FULFILL PROPHECY…


Luke 2:1-3 – “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.” NKJV

The prophets of old declared that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Had Augustus, an evil tyrant, not made his decree Mary & Joseph would not have been in Bethlehem. They were there to fulfill the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. God used a tyrant to facilitate the fulfillment of His prophetic word.  Isn’t it amazing how God will use the base things of this life to achieve His purposes?  While I never applaud evil governments or tyrants I applaud this event in that it helped facilitate the purposes of God and we would have a day that we would come to celebrate as Christmas in honor of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ the Savior!

I don’t know what was going on in the hearts of Mary & Joseph that night as the time of delivery neared.  I know the Bible tells us that Mary pondered things in her heart regarding this child and the words of the Angel from God. 

As we stand on the Eve of the day that we have set aside to celebrate the birth of our Messiah let us allow the anticipation and excitement that heaven must have had flood our hearts. Then on the morrow when we gather around the tree or whatever your custom is, consider the “Reason for the Season.”  I’ve had people tell me Christmas is for kids.  I beg to differ it is for mankind. 

It is for Redemption, Restoration, and LIFE!  It is for Remembrance of what the birth of Jesus meant then and now.  Without that event, we would still be in darkness bound by the powers of darkness and slaves to the devil.  But because of a cold, dark, meager stable as a place, we have HOPE! In those humble surroundings the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS came into this world for the express purpose of Redeeming that which was lost You and Me!

On this Christmas Eve allow your mind to entertain the real reason for this holiday and I believe that it will have a transforming effect on your heart and mind and even your relationship with others.  It will most assuredly make this day and tomorrow even more special to you!

With that, I say MERRY CHRISTMAS to all.  May the richest and best of the blessings of the Lord be yours on this Christmas and may Jesus become the focal point of all that you do as you reflect on God’s incredible love! 

God Bless and have a Happy and Safe Christmas!

THE BATTLE BEFORE THE BATTLE – Part 3


Luke 21:7-36 – – [Key v. 26] – “…men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”  NKJV

Let’s take a look at today, and when we do, we realize that the Seeds of Fear are everywhere.  Let’s examine some cases in the Bible where men overcame fear and walked in trust.

In Judges 3 we have the story of Gideon. He had an army of 32,000 to face an army of 135,000 which is about 4 to 1 odds bad but not terrible.  God said, “That’s too many send the fearful home” and 22,000 left.  Thanks a bunch Lord! Now the odds have shifted dramatically it is not 10,000 against 135,000 or 13.5 to 1.  That is not good in anybody’s book.  But God wasn’t through and said “Still too many” so when he got through there were only 300 left.  This is impossible! 300 against 135,000 that is 450 to 1 and nobody in their right mind would attempt those kinds of odds UNLESS your focus is right.  Gideon TRUSTED GOD!

I believe that he had a Covenant Mentality as is described in Joshua 23:10 – “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised.”   If you will recall the Promises of God you remember the words of Leviticus 26:8, “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand…”  Then you go to Deuteronomy and you find in 28:7 – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways.” 

I’m liking this!  In Deuteronomy 32:30 – “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight UNLESS their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had given them up?”  You see with God All Things Are Possible! If the Lord is for us, then who can be against us and if they are, they are in deep trouble!

 If you look at what Hollywood and television are producing these days, you quickly realize that we are being set up for the bombardment of the supernatural and they are planting seeds of fear.  The increase in mass shootings, military unrest in the world, the rise of Islamic jihad, the political agenda, and even the natural disasters all link together to cause man to FEAR!  But we do not have to fear and are even instructed to not fear.

Luke 12:32 – “Fear not little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Remember the Lord’s message to the Church at Smyrna in Revelation and to us today in Revelation 2:10 – “Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you the Crown of Life.”

We overcome Fear with Truth!  We need to know who God is!  We need to know what Jesus has done!  The 1st Adam lost dominion, but the Last Adam won it back and has brought to the human race Redemption!

KEEP THIS IN MIND:

  1. We are Sons and Daughters by Faith – – Galatians 3:6-9
  2. The Abrahamic Covenant is Ours – – – Galatians 3:13-14
  3. God’s Promises to us are not set aside by the Law – – Galatians 3:19-21
  4. We are Heirs by Faith through the Work of Jesus Christ – – Galatians 3:25-29

As Galatians 5:1 tells us, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free…”   Remember Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians 1:18-23 – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

We are One Body – His Body!  (Ephesians 2:10-16) and have been made complete in Him – (Colossians 2:9-10)

Remember that if we are In Christ the devil has “no legal claim” on us.  Jesus stripped him of his authority, and he cannot take back what Jesus has already taken we just need to live in Christ’s victory.  We need to understand that Restoration is not us taking something back it is receiving what Jesus has taken.  The Tabernacle is a picture of the Christian walk and shows the process and progression of Birth then growth.

We are to be living manifestations of the Finished Work of Jesus Christ in this present world.  We have nothing to Fear because we have Him who has overcome all the power of the wicked one.  We are More Than Conquerors through Jesus!  Therefore, when Fear tries to grip your heart, remember Christ’s Finished Work and Resist and the devil must flee! 

Be blessed in your victory in Christ!

THE BATTLE BEFORE THE BATTLE – Part 2


Luke 21:7-36 – – [Key v. 26] – “…men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”  NKJV

Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday, regarding Faith and Fear let’s dig a little deeper today.  Hopefully, this will provide some useful thoughts that will help you walk a more victorious life in the face of the assaults of the enemy.  The subject matter from yesterday brings a question to the fore that reflects the problem.

How do we gain or maintain control to face something we can’t control?  The problem is we have participated in Adam’s sin and become a part of the Cosmic Rebellion that doomed the human race.  That sin or fall created the need for Jesus to come, live among us, and die on the Cross.  The Cosmic Rebellion was Disobedience and basically was that man decided, with the help and suggestion of the devil to become the Center of His Universe.  Remember in Genesis when the serpent said, “you shall be as God”?  Man fired God and installed Self on the throne of his life in an attempt to become god, which is the ultimate rebellion.

Romans 6:16 – “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?”  NKJV

Putting it as simply as I can, when we “disobeyed” God, we “obeyed” the devil and through that act became his slaves.  Man lost dominion, lost authority, lost power, lost relationship, and lost covenant.  Simply man was L-O-S-T!  One preacher said it was as though man was “born-again backward.”

We understand that the devil is a supernatural being and we are natural beings.  When we come to that realization, we will understand that when he brings things into our paths, we are no match for him in our own strength.  That causes FEAR to rush in like a flood.  As we allow SELF to occupy the top spot in our lives, we are a prime target, for inordinate FEAR.  However, if our focus is truly on God – – WE DO NOT FEAR!

From what the Bible teaches us there are two basic approaches to fear for man:

Psalm 56:3 – David said: “When I am afraid, I will put my Trust in Thee….”

Isaiah 12:2 – Isaiah said: “Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.”

Both are good, but one is better!   It is far better to TRUST first and not FEAR than to FEAR first and then TRUST.  Both reached the point of trust, but one took a more difficult route.

Luke 12:32 – “Do not be afraid, little flock, for our Father has chosen to gladly give you the Kingdom.

Hebrews 13:6 – “…so that we can confidently say, The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid.  What shall man do to me?”

1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

Psalm 27:1-2 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall, I fear?  The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?  When the evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.  Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.”

Psalm 31:13-14,20 – “For I have heard the slander of many, terror is on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they schemed to take away my life.  But as for me, I trust in Thee, O Lord.”

Proverbs 1:33 – “But he who listens to me shall live and shall be at ease from the dread of evil.”

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given to us the spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline (sound mind).”

Proverbs 10:24 – [Key:  Get this straight] “What the wicked fears will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.”   This is not talking about a momentary bout with fear but becoming Fearful and being Wicked. It is a Spirit of Fear!

Hebrews 2:14 – Speaking of the work of the Cross:  “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render POWERLESS [unemploy] him who HAD [past tense] the power of death, that is, the devil.”   [Emphasis mine]

[v.15] – “and might deliver those who through FEAR OF DEATH were subject to slavery all their lives.”

Basically, there are two groups of people living on this planet.  Those who are in Slavery to the Fear of Death and those who have been delivered.

Isaiah 8:12 – “…you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it….”

As you go through life look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith and the one who, through His Finished Work on the Cross defeated the devil permanently!  You are victorious through Jesus!   

I will stop here and pick up tomorrow for a little more!  Blessings!