When we fear (men)

The Bible informs us that when Jacob found out from his messengers that his brother Esau, whom he had wronged, was coming to meet him along with four hundred men, he became greatly afraid and distressed. Uncertain of how his brother felt about him, and fearing that his brother would be coming with his men to avenge himself, Jacob divided his people, and the cattle (flocks, herds, and camels) into two bands, thinking that if Esau was to come and attack one band, then the other could escape (Genesis 32:6-8).

Interesting, isn’t it, that not too long ago, Jacob had witnessed two camps of God’s angelic army, and now all of his people and property had been divided into two bands. Did God in his omniscience know that Jacob would divide his people and property into two bands and so sent two hosts of angels in advance to protect him? I would like to think so, but the Bible does not affirm that and so we should leave speculation to be speculation.

Jacob acts of deception had given him a genuine reason to fear his brother, but God’s promise of being with him should have allayed that fear. In other words, if Jacob had faith – faith to trust God at his word, he would not have had to fear his brother – a mere man.

Points to ponder:
We fear when we fail to take God at his word and trust him, by placing our complete faith in him. The opposite of fear for a follower of Jesus Christ is not courage, but instead faith. When the disciples were afraid in the boat that was caught in a storm, Jesus did not ask them “Why they did not have courage?”, but instead asked them “How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-41)

When we have no faith in Jesus, we have everything to fear. When we have all our faith in Jesus, we have nothing or no one to fear! When the storms of life buffet you and threaten to drown you, there is nothing to fear, if Jesus Christ is with you. Even first death is no longer something to be afraid off for it has no power over those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Are you afraid and distressed?

Genesis 32:6-8 (KJV)
And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;
And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.

Mark 4:35-41 (KJV)
35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Lying is no laughing matter

When the Lord asked Abraham as to why Sarah laughed, when she heard of the promise of a child that she would bear, the Bible records that out of fear, she lied to the Lord saying that she did not (Genesis 18:15). To this the Lord does not react angrily but reaffirms that even the hidden laughter of Sarah was not hidden from the Lord. In fact, by denying what the Lord was stating was making God a liar, which Apostle John reaffirmed in 1 John 1:10 which reads “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

From this account we can learn a few things
1. Fear causes us to lie, but since those who live according to God’s spirit have no condemnation in Christ, there is no need to fear, which means that there is no need to lie (to God).
2. One cannot lie to God and get away with it, because he is omniscient.
3. Lying to God and denying that we have not sinned, when we have, makes God a liar (1 John 1:10) and God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19).

Lying to God is no laughing matter.

Points to ponder:
The Bible states that the father of lies from the very beginning is the devil (John 8:44). Jesus said that he and the Father are One and that he is The Truth (John 14:6). In him, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1) i.e., no need to fear.
Are you living in fear or with a sound mind without timidity? (2 Timothy 1:7)
We may be able to lie to man and get away with it, but we cannot lie to God and get away with it?
Lying to God makes God a liar and since he is God, the personification of Truth itself, he cannot lie and this is no laughing matter.

Genesis 18:15 (KJV)
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

John 14:6 (KJV)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

2 Timothy 1:7-10 (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

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.

Psalm 121 :: Protecting God

Upon close introspection of the familiar Psalm 121, we can learn about some very distinct characteristics of God. Today, we will look at verses 5 and 6 which states, “The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.” (NKJV)

God is portrayed here in these verses as our PROTECTOR. In the midst of the heat that the world throws at us, God will be our shade, not allowing anything to strike us, day or night.

Points to ponder:
Question: Since God is our protector, whom shall we fear?
Answer: Nothing or Nobody, anytime (day or night).

Psalm 121:5-6 (NKJV)
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

Independence Series :: True Freedom

Today on the 4th of July, the United States of America celebrates its independence day, but sadly while freedom from tyranny and subjugation is celebrated, there are other forces that seem to subjugate and bring under bondage the inhabitants of this blessed land. The LA times, just a couple of days ago (June 29, 2011), stated that “drug addictions amongst teens is the #1 health problem in America today”.  Addictions to media, pornography, nicotine (tobacco), alcohol, marijuana, food, gambling, and even prescription drugs are very common in our day and age. So the question that begs to be asked is “Are we truly free?”

But before we can answer that question, we must first know “What is true freedom?” True freedom is freedom that goes beyond the grave. It is freedom that can be experienced and enjoyed by those who have no fear of death; not just the first (physical) death, but the second (spiritual) death as well. The only one who is truly free, is the one who believes in the Son of God; in Jesus Christ. For him/her whom the Son (of God) makes free, is the one who is free indeed.

So this independence day, ask yourself, am I truly free? If you cannot answer that with an affirmative “yes”, then believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for when Jesus makes you free (from sin, its wages which is death), you are free indeed (from any of the forces of this world or the one to come).

John 8:36 (KJV)
36 If the Son [Jesus Christ] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The Armor David Wore :: Helmet of Salvation

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

The helmet is part of an armor that protects the head literally and figuratively the mind. The Bible says that He [God] will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [fixed] on Him [God] (Isaiah 26:3). The Psalmist (David) avers that the Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are assured of Salvation and they can be in perfect peace without any fear. They are assured of eternal life and even death cannot drive fear into their hearts and mind. David recognized that he had no reason to fear the giant Goliath, because he knew that the Lord was his Salvation. He in fact states that boldly to the giant that it will be the Lord who would deliver the giant into his hands; in other words, it will be the Lord who will save him.  He had armed himself with the helmet of Salvation and there was nothing for him to fear.

Do you/I have perfect peace as did David? Are you/I armed with the helmet of Salvation that drives out fear?

Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?