Fear Not – what does that mean?


Grammy Award winning singer, Chris Tomlin beautifully expressed this motif, that if God is with us, then there is nothing or no one that we need to be afraid of, in his song, Whom Shall I fear? (The God of Angel Armies). Now hold that thought.

Genesis 26:24 gives the account of the Lord appearing to Isaac, on the very same night, that he had moved up to Beersheba and the Lord first identifies himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac’s father. Then the Lord says that he will bless and multiply Isaac, for the sake of Abraham, but before this reassurance is given, the Lord starts out by telling Isaac to Fear Not. Why? Because the Lord says that he was with Isaac.

Isaac was in a foreign land. His servants had just been in contention with the servants of the king Abimelech of Gerar. And while these events could have given him the sense that he was alone in battling the circumstances and life issues, the Lord comes through with the assurance that he was with Isaac and so Isaac had no reason to fear. There was nothing Isaac had to be afraid of because God was with him.

Points to ponder:
When fear seems to grip your heart and you feel that you are all alone, battling the issues of life, you can call on to the Lord and when he is with you, you have nothing to fear. No matter what the situation is and how dire things seem, when you have the God of angel armies with you, fear not.

Jesus’ name was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah and proclaimed by the angel Gabriel to Mary that he shall be called “Emmanuel” meaning God with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). And Jesus promised that he is with those who love him and obey his commands, following him, always, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

The question that remains is “Are you afraid?”. In other words, that can be translated into “Is the Lord with you?” Now take note, if the God of angel armies, the Lord is not with you – then that is a dreadful thing!

Genesis 26:24 (KJV)
24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

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Our Hearts Ye Mend


At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men

and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.

To our secondborn, your word was given
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven

To my beloved, your word came
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!

From the Author’s/Poet’s Desk:
As we arrived at the beginning of a new year, thinking about the year gone past and looking forward to the year ahead, this poem is an expressions of our hearts, that in the coming year, my family (Sangeetha, Reuben, Ittai and me), focus solely on the Lord God who can mend our hearts to Love him and love all. During the watchnight service on December 31st, at the Austin Christian Fellowship of India (ACFI), we picked promise cards for each one in the family. The poem is written by compiling the verses from our promise cards, as a personal reminder to us, but we pray that you personalize this for yourself by replaced the pronouns and words like “our” with “me” or “my” and any personal pronoun with your name or “I”.

The promise  cards picked for 2016.
For Reuben (our firstborn): 17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. (Jeremiah 30:17)
For Ittai (our secondborn): 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. (Isaiah 60:20)
For Sangeetha (my beloved): 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
For Mano: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

Promise Cards 2016

A line-by-line exegesis of the poem [in square brackets] is given below:

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Mend us Lord to love you and to love all men
[Matthew 22:37-39]
and gather us again as your brood, our mother hen,
[Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
delivering us from the evil one, in your sheep’s pen

[Matthew 6:13;John 10:11-18]
as we hear your voice and follow you, keeping not just one command but all ten
[John 10:27; John 14:15]

To our firstborn, you affirmed not once but twice
[Promise verse for Reuben – Jeremiah 30:17]
that you are indeed Jehovah-Rophe, who paid the price,
[Jeremiah 30:17; John 19:30]

restoring us all back to spiritual health, to the devil’s surprise,
[Psalm 23:3; Hebrews 2:14-15]

and that O LORD is the greatest of all wealth, we solely apprise.
[Psalm 71:15-16]

To our secondborn, your word was given
[Promise verse for Ittai – Isaiah 60:20]
that you are his everlasting light, as darkness was driven
[Isaiah 60:20; 2 Corinthians 4:6]
when you came into this world, which for salvation was striven
[Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; Romans 8:22]
and found that only by your blood, can all of creation be forgiven
[Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22]

To my beloved, your word came
[Promise verse for Sangeetha – Isaiah 41:10]
assuring that “Emmanuel” indeed is your Name.
[Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23]
“To fear not or be dismayed”, in life’s game
[Isaiah 41:10; Luke 1:30]

for you are her strengthener and helper, our God – the same.
[Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 13:8]

You promised me that you will satisfy my needs and be my guide
[Promise verse for Mano – Isaiah 58:11]
and I pray that, you in me and I in you, always abide,
[John 15:2-5 {the Church’s theme verse for 2015}]
lest in the beggarly worldly things I pride and backslide,
[Galatians 4:9; Galatians 6:14]
O LORD God, over our lives, you solely and sovereignly preside.
[Psalm 47:8; Colossians 3:15]

At the break of dawn the period we are in comes to an end
[January 01, 2016]
and we beseech thee LORD God, to us your ear lend,
[Psalm 17:6, Psalm 86:10]
and pray that in this new year, to your will, our lives, we bend

[Luke 22:42]
forgive us of our secret willful sins; we ask, our hearts ye mend!
[Psalm 19:12; Ezekiel 11:19]

Fear not (meaning Faith up)


Genesis 15:1 reads “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Why would God start his talk with Abram with the words, “Fear not”? What was Abram afraid of? Although it is extremely possible that the very visible presence of the Almighty and Sovereign God invoked in Abram a sense of trepidation, as is described by the patriarch Job (Job 23:13-16), contextually we are given clues as to the reasons why Abram might have been afraid. Abram had just returned from war victoriously and he could have feared the retaliation of the kingdoms, whose kings, Abram had slaughtered in battle (Genesis 14). It is also possible that his rejection of the offer of the king of Sodom could have had consequences, which could have made Abram afraid. While the reasons for Abram’s fear is unbeknownst to us, we know that the very first words, from the mouth of God, to Abram, before his promise of protection (shield) and provision (reward), was “Fear not”. Noteworthily, this is the first time that the phrase “Fear not” is used in the Old Testament record of the Bible.

Interestingly, this is the same phrase that is used to start God’s conversation with man, in the New Testament record of the Bible as well, for God starts out by telling Joseph (the husband of Mary) to “Fear not” (Matthew 1:20) and tells Mary herself to “Fear not” for she had found favor with the Lord (Luke 1:30).

It is important to note that it is not courage, but faith, which is the opposite of fear, as we learn from the record when Jesus calms the storm. Upon calming the storm, notice Jesus did not question, “Why are ye so fearful? Why is it that you have no courage?”, but instead questioned “Why are ye so fearful? Why is it that you have no faith?”.(Mark 4:40) Abram, who believed God in the past needed to continue to trust in him, by faith.

Points to ponder:
There are many fears that assail us – the fear of death (of losing life or a loved one), the fear of despair (of losing a job or a project), the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of commitment … and the list goes on. What God is telling us today, is “Fear not” He is our protector and provider. We need to trust in him. In other words, we need to “Faith up”. God is not looking for courage in us, but he is looking for our faith in him.

When we go through the storms of life, let it NOT be so, that Jesus should wake up and testify of us, as “Oh, ye of little or no faith”. (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:0).

All those who have found favor with God have no reasons to fear. Those who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are adopted into God’s family, finding favor with him. Have you found favor in the Lord or do you still have reasons to fear?

Genesis 15:1 (KJV)
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Related Articles:
No Fear, Only Faith
The opposite of fear is …
Faith and Fear

Christmas Perspectives :: No Fear; Only Faith


God breaks his silence by telling his handmaid (Mary) “Fear not, for thou hast found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)
After, Jesus calmed the storm, he questioned his disciples, “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) According to this text, the opposite of fear is not courage but faith.
When we have faith and we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Salvation is conceived in us  i.e., we accept the Lord Jesus, and there is nothing to fear, for we find favor with God.

Points to ponder:
Is there anything you are afraid of? Accept Christ Jesus within and fear not, says the Lord, for you are highly favored when the Lord is with you, and with God, by faith, nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:30-37 (KJV)
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

God’s I will give :: Crown of life


Many places in the Bible, we see that God is saying “I will give”. In Revelation 2:10, Jesus says, “I will give you a crown of life, for those who are faithful unto death.”

We live in a world that seeks to live – live a long life as is evident from the advances in medicine and technologies that prolong life. But the Bible teaches us that he who seeks to save his life shall lose it but whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake shall find it (Matthew 16:25). Not only will the one who fears none and is faithful unto death for Jesus find life, life eternal, but he/she will be crowned – crowned with a crown of life that is everlasting.

Points to ponder:
We must die to self and sin so that our bodies are living sacrifices, presentable and acceptable unto God, which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1-2). Jesus said, I will give you a crown of life, but it is for those who fear none and are faithful unto death. Are you/Am I?

Revelation 2:10 (KJV)
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The lame at the King’s table


When my uncle, Dr. Walter Bobby was visiting us this weekend past, he shared in the Austin Christian Fellowship of India on “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” from Hebrews 12:2, and in one part of his message, he mentioned the story of how King David looked at Mephibosheth, his friend Jonathan’s son, who was lame in his feet, as one made in the image of God and that we ought not to judge others. As I pondered upon the story of David and Mephibosheth, the Holy Spirit revealed that the story of Salvation of mankind is represented in this account.

David sought his enemy’s (Saul’s) own because of the covenant he had made with his friend, Jonathan. Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth was lame in his feet but he had become lame not on account of his own fault, but because he had been dropped as a child. Mephibosheth had reason to fear for his life as David was the king that succeeded Saul, but David tells him not be to afraid and extends his act of kindness and grace to have Mephibosheth be restored in full and to sit at his own (the King’s) table.

God sought the world that had turned to be an enemy of His. He remembered the covenant He made with His friend Abraham, to whom He had promised that the nations will be blessed. We like Mephibosheth, before meeting Jesus, were consumed in sin and in a sense lame as we could not walk in the newness of life. We were doomed to death because the wages of sin is death. Jesus removed the fear of death by extending His kindness and grace, restoring our lives in full measure, and allowing us to sit at the King of kings table and commune with God the Father.

Just as David asked “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”,  Jesus is asking the same, “Is there any that is left, that I may shew him/her kindness?“, and if you are one who has not come under His grace and liberty, He will telling you “Fear not, for I will show you kindness and you shall be restored all, and shall commune with me, The King, at my table continually.

2 Samuel 9:1-7 (KJV)
1
And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
2
And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.
3
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.
4
And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
5
Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
6
Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!
7
And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.

Romans 5:8-11 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Fear not because you are NOT forgotten!


Luke 12:4-12 is a very hard passage to stomach for us, mere mortals that love life so much, that we want to live forever on earth. The call to be a child of God comes with its problems and is not necessarily an easy task. Persecution can come in various forms, from simple ridicule and mockery to the loss of life. 2 Thessalonians 1, 1 Peter 4:2 all counsel us that we are called indeed to “take up the Cross and follow Jesus” a.k.a. suffer for his name. This was indeed explicitly given in the call of Paul, the Apostle as recorded in Acts 9:16 which states that “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake”.

Should it be, that we are faced with a situation to deny the name of Jesus or face death, Jesus tells us what our answers should be.
Fear not of men that can merely kill the body, but can do nothing more (Luke 12:4)
But Fear him (God) who after he hath killed you, has the power to cast you in hell a.k.a kill your soul (Luke 12:5)
He (God) who does not even forget a sparrow, has numbered and knows the very hairs in your head, and He (God) will not forget you.

Fear not because you are NOT forgotten!