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“NO FEAR” Part 1

—Sunday Sermon—

An Introduction to “Understanding and Properly Identifying Your Fears” When Jesus’ Disciples were terrified thinking that he was a ghost when they saw him walking on the water, he said to them; Take courage It is I. Don’t be afraid. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid [FEAR] and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!” [A fantastic response to fear] 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” -Matthew 14:22-31 That is where we begin this series on Fear today. The promise is that God will reach out his hand and catch us as well. In the devotion that I recently shared on race-car driver Brian Simo’s 1985 clothing line, "No Fear", I made the point that there is a difference between “Not being afraid” and “Stupidity”. To be “Fearless” is not automatically a noble and great thing. Sometimes it’s just plain stupid. “To fear, or not to fear. That is the question.” When is "No Fear" really synonymous for “Stupidity"? The woman who fell to her death on a very steep day hike at Yosemite National Park, should not have been hiking on the very slick and dangerous rock that rainy day. The bible verses that address the issue of fear, are not just a decal or a T-shirt saying "No Fear". They are not about taking foolish risks. The "No Fear" begins with; “Understanding and Properly Identifying Fears” We are all sinking in one area of our life or another. Like Peter, too often we have focused on the wind and the waves around us rather than on Jesus. Just as Peter cried out to Jesus, "Lord, Save me!", I invite all of us to do the same today. Lord, save us from being overcome and even paralyzed by fear that robs us of living our lives to the fullness of everything that YOU have planned for us. Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. -John 14:27 SOME FACTS ABOUT FEAR Fear will visit you. Some people thrive on fear because it can be a very effective motivator. It can also be a very effective source of paralysis. It is important to recognize the difference between the kinds and categories of fear. Fear does have a proper place in our life. HEALTHY FEAR (Has a place in our life) 1. HEALTHY” FEAR and “PHYSICAL” THINGS FIGHT or FLIGHT This is an internal instinct. With very few exceptions, everyone is born with this. This is simply a natural and healthy response to dangerous situations. a. “Healthy fear” can literally SAVE YOUR LIFE. EXAMPLE:  Hiking in bear country. If you’re hiking in the woods and you stumble upon a momma bear with her cubs. You do not need to give the bears Bible verses, you need to give them space. You need to slowly back away and follow proper bear protocol. It can literally save your life. It can literally save the life of the bears as well. In many cases if not all, the authorities will have to kill the bear that caused human death. b. “Healthy fear” can IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. It can sharpen your senses, which in many situations is a great benefit. The proper use of “Healthy Fear” and “Common Sense” will always improve your life, health and relationships . 2. HEALTHY” FEAR and “SPIRITUAL” THINGS a.FEAR OF THE LORD” Biblically speaking, “Healthy Fear” also has to do with REVERENCE and RESPECT for GOD. David wrote “...in reverence I will bow down” Psalm 5:7 Solomon (David’s son) wrote, “... the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” -Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” -Proverbs 1:7 The Hebrew word here also means reverence or respect. We must give the proper place to God in our lives. He is the creator and rightful owner of the entire universe. To think of Him in any less of a way will lead us to nothing but fear and trouble. If we don’t then in the areas of things that we do not understand, we will typically blame our anger and fears on God. To respect and to have reverence for God means to trust and to follow him regardless of our thoughts or feelings (of which fear is a huge feeling that we all experience). David had a healthy respect of the Lord throughout his life and Solomon knew the “fear of the Lord” was the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom. A side note about “Respect “HAVING” respect for others vs “GIVING” respect to others. God wants us to “Give” respect (show respect), to others, even when we don’t “Feel” respect for them. Just like God wants us to “Give” love (show love, to others, even when we don’t “Feel” love for them. Remember Jesus said love your enemies We see here that Giving/Showing respect or love to others is an ACTION rather than an FEELING. b.“FEAR OF HELL and JUDGEMENT DAYChristians do not have to fear (be afraid of) missing out on heaven. Jesus 100% forgives us by his grace and the death and resurrection of Jesus. This verse tells us that we there is a fear of judgement day for those who are not Christian, but not for those who are. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love [God’s perfect love] drives out fear,  because fear has to do with punishment. [Punishment of hell] The one who fears [Judgement Day] is not [is not a Christian] made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:18 You have nothing to worry or be afraid about with respect to eternity (when this life is over). You “will be” in Heaven. Satan wants us to live with the fear that we have never done enough to please God. This is an unhealthy fear. UNHEALTHY FEAR 1. PHYSICAL” THINGS and UNHEALTHY FEAR Unhealthy fear can paralyze you or slow you down which is not want God wants for you. Excessive respect for something that takes on more of the Unhealthy Fears highlight the negative potential of a thing above the positive. Unhealthy Fears see the down-side of something as opposed to the Up-side of the same thing. EXAMPLES: All of these are good, but can be viewed out of balance and become fears. Medication Water Electricity Heights            Etc. “…God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7 2. SPIRITUAL” THINGS and HEALTHY FEAR God wants us to grow. But, there is a part of all of that is afraid to grow, because it takes work. Sometimes we are satisfied/comfortable with where we are, and it makes us afraid to do what it takes to spiritually grow, Most people do not like the PROCESS of growth which is called sanctification”. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid… [Then Paul lists a variety of sins] -1 Thessalonians 4:3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face [Properly identify and deal with] trials [Fears] of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, [Sanctification] not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4 There are many potential problems and obstacles that can bring about fear during this process of growth or sanctification. Fear can rob you of joy and paralyze you from moving forward into all that God has called you to. Instead of a spirit of fear, we have been given a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.” -2 Timothy 1:7 What place does the “SPIRIT of FEAR” and the “SPIRIT of POWER” have in your life? Does it look like this? Spirit of FEAR                                Spirit of POWER It should look like this! Spirit of POWER                                Spirit of FEAR Fear must never drive the car of our life. In many cases when fear knocks on the car door, we can refuse to let it in. But many times, we did not let fear in. It just appeared in our car. We will all feel fear. Just because we may feel the presence of fear, it does not mean that we are responsible for it being there. But we are responsible for not allowing it to get in the driver’s seat of our life. We are responsible for where fear is allowed to sit in our house and in our car. I thank God that he has given us the tools of “a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline” in order to fight our fear. Prayer: Lord, thank you for healthy fear. It has kept me safe in many cases throughout my life. Help me to properly identify fears in my life that are unhealthy. Help me not to give into unhealthy fear that takes me away from you. Help me to give you the full respect that you deserve so that the verse that says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning or wisdom and knowledge would become a reality in my life. Thank you for all of your promises related to fear. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” -Isaiah 26:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen! Pastor Dave

Word of Life Church 17525 W. Bell Rd. Surprise, AZ 85374

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Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

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17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

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