Category Archives: Fearful to fearless

Will it be easy? Will it be worth it? Will it end well?


We never have a promise that it will be easy and in fact we hear from Jesus that we will face trials and troubles and tribulations.

25“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.a 28I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

–from John 16

That’s right even though we will face troubles, trials, and tribulation, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!

We can’t give up! We can’t give in! When we face trials of any kind, we take hold of God’s promises and truth and we can consider it pure joy for we know it is just a test of our faith.

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

–from James 1

The lies of the devil will try to twist the reality of the tests, trials, tribulations into trying to draw us away from God when instead we should be drawing closer to God in and through it all! Persevering! Being joyful! Allowing the work that is to be done in and through it to finish so we can be complete and lacking nothing!

So as we look to today’s reading from Ezekiel 38 with the devotional focused on 18-21, we can take heart because we know that the victory belongs to the Lord! We know that Jesus has already won! We know from reading the end of the book that even in the book of Revelation we see Jesus have victory over God and Magog. So do not fear, just believe in Jesus! So don’t worry about anything but rather through prayer and supplication, make your asks known to God! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God : Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you. “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. “Thus says the Lord God : On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme and say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates,’ to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’ “Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God : On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. “Thus says the Lord God : Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God , my wrath will be roused in my anger. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God . Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord . ‘

–from Ezekiel 38:1-23 

Today devotional speaks to the impact of this onto the world through history of London’s Guildhall and subsequently at Royal Arcade in Melbourne, Australia.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You make a way even when there doesn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that I don’t have to walk in worry or fear but that I can walk by faith knowing that Jesus has overcome the world no matter what comes my way. I thank You Lord that I don’t have to be concerned about trials that come my way because what the enemy plans for evil You are able to turn around and use for good so that when we face trials of any kind we can consider it pure joy for we know that through perseverance and my faith in You that in the end I will be complete and lacking nothing. Lord I lift this day up and ask for Your wisdom and direction in order that through all I think, say, and do You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Facing fear? Why not overcome fear?


Life is full of challenges! Life is full of troubles! The devil wants to keep you come becoming all that God has planned for you! His primary tools are fear and doubt!

Belief is the antidote for fear! Ever heard the saying “fear not, just believe“?

Ever seen the acronym for fear? F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real!

Ever noticed how many times in the Bible it says “fear not” or “don’t be afraid”? Ever noticed how many times angels say that to people right before they scream? God’s plan is not for us to be walking around in fear! His desire is that through a relationship with Him we will walk out our lives in faith believing and trusting in Him through an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord! The key to overcoming fear is to believe that God is bigger than whatever it is we are facing! Hence why we have the verse “be anxious for nothing but through prayer and petition bring your request before God“! Angels know our first response to seeing something that we don’t understand is to be afraid and so they try to calm us down with something like what Gabriel said to Mary “don’t be afraid, you have found favor with God” or the shepherds “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Or even at Jesus’ tomb “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.” God’s plan is that we have hope and a future! God’s plan in King James speaks to His plan is that we have “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“.

Today’s devotional starts of with this truth for us to grab a hold of:

God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Are you struggling with something and feeling that God won’t approve of you because of that? Are you considering that God is looking at you through the prism of Jesus? Today’s devotional speaks to such a situation and conversation and shares this with us:

When he finished his talk he came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe that God approves of you?’ I said, ‘Actually, I really struggle with that because I know things about myself that mean I find it difficult to believe that God approves of me.’ He replied, ‘We all struggle with that. But God wants you to know that he approves of you. He wants you to know he loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

If I were asked to summarise what I thought the Bible was all about in one word – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – I would choose the word ‘love’. Twice in today’s New Testament passage John writes, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8,16). The word ‘love’ is used widely in our society. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Love is God’. In other words, it is God who defines what love is rather than the other way around. God is love.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Do you remember what love is? Do you realize that when we read that God is love that means we can replace the word love with the word God? So imagine now reading from 1 Corinthians 13 and replacing love with God or even Jesus! Now imagine if we could look to live our lives with such love that we could replace love with our name?

Remember that love never fails

God is Love! So He is everything just listed above!

People are looking for love! People are trying to find love! They will go to any length to try and find real love! The reality is that to find true love they need to receive God! God so loves the world that He sent Jesus! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved! What people need to realize is that for them to find love their first step needs to be to turn back to God! Not walking away thinking it is out there somewhere! God is with us and waiting for us to turn back to Him! Let’s not be like the lost son who left his father and it wasn’t till he hit rock bottom that he realized what he had lost before turning around and going home to his loving father! Let’s turn around before it gets that bad, that far, that rough, that scary and ask Jesus into our heart! Let’s turn to real love! Let’s turn to God! He is the only thing that can fill that hole in our hearts!

Love is the key to overcoming unhealthy fear! 1 John 4:18 says it this way:

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

–from 1 John 4:18

So want to get rid of those unhealthy fears that are affecting your health, your relationships, your thoughts, your life? LOVE is the key! GOD is LOVE! So ask Jesus into your heart today and start the journey that will last through eternity spending time with God and allowing Him into every area of your life, leading and guiding, comforting and encouraging, speaking life and truth in Jesus’ name!


Four Keys to Overcoming Fear

Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Thank God for his love … Psalms 138
  2. Live in the love of God … 1 John 4:7-21
    • We see in this passage four keys to overcome unhealthy fear in your life.

      1) Understand God’s Love

      ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (vv.10,17–18).

      Unhealthy fear entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid from God. When God asked, ‘Where are you?’ Adam replied, ‘I was afraid… so I hid’ (Genesis 3:10). Adam was afraid that God would punish him.

      The deepest root of fear is condemnation – the feeling that God is cross with you. But God ‘sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Jesus took your condemnation. God wants you to have confidence before him.

      2) Experience God’s Love

      ‘We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit… we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (vv.13,16).

      You truly start living when you know you are unconditionally loved by God. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us. When Pippa was a little girl, whenever she was frightened, her father would pick her up in his arms and sing, ‘Daddy’s got you now’. This is the work of the Holy Spirit – God picks us up in his arms and reassures us of his love for us.

      3) Believe God’s Love

      ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us’ (v.16). The Greek word used for ‘rely’ is the same word as for believe. Even when we know and have experienced God’s love, we need to keep on believing.

      Object permanence is an expression used by psychologists of a child’s ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible.

      Up to about four months old, babies don’t have the capacity to believe something exists if they can’t see it. If you hide a toy it no longer exists as far as they are concerned. They reach a stage where if you hide a toy, they will keep on looking for it. They realise that objects exist even when you don’t see them.

      This is a sign of Christian maturity: when we continue to believe in God’s love even when we don’t see it or feel it. We remember and recall. As we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love.

      4) Perfect God’s Love

      ‘No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (v.12). ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’ (v.18).

      The more you love him and demonstrate that reality by loving one another – the less you are prey to fear. Develop a culture of love – giving and receiving love. This is the opposite of competition and gossip. The more love you give to others – the more fear disappears.

      –from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. Stand firm in the love of God … Daniel 11:2-35

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

Worry about nothing!


Worry changes nothing! Prayer changes everything!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

–Philippians 4:6

What’s got your mind today? What running wild in there? Worry and anxiety try to rob you of joy. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

— 2 Corinthians 9:8

Is it about family? Is it about friends? Is it about work? Is it about health? Is it about finances? Something else?Will worry do anything other than raise your blood pressure and stress levels? Why not give it up to God whatever it is and ask Him to help. I remember a pastor saying how he would give it up to God and as part of his prayer would say something like “God can you please take care of this situation and I’ll go to sleep since You are going to be up anyways”.Don’t let it cause you to lose sleep! Don’t let it cause you to lose focus! Don’t let it cause you to lose hope! Don’t let it cause you to lose purpose! Don’t let it rob you of good health! Put your trust in God!Let’s allow the peace of God that beyond all understanding protect and strengthen you like a strong tower! Allow God to calm the storm by either clearing out the storm or calming the storm in you!So let’s allow the peace of God to rule rather than allowing worry and anxiety to try to take over.Today’s devotional speaks to the various things that try to rob use through worry. Check out today’s devotional and hear what the writer and the Bible has to say.


Anxiety and Peace

Day 223: Bible in One Year 2017

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/223

  1. Speak to God about your anxieties … Psalm 94:12-23

  1. Live at peace with your situation … 1 Corinthians 7:1-16
  2. Find purpose instead of meaninglessness … Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22


Day 223 of 365 • This day’s reading •Psalms 94:12-231 Corinthians 7:1-16Ecclesiastes 1Ecclesiastes 2Ecclesiastes 3


Jesus is the answer. Without God everything else like chasing after the wind, which is seen thru Solomon’s wisdom. Without God life is worthless and meaningless.Nothing is new and without remembering the lessons of the past we are doomed to repeat them. We see this through the Bible as pendulum of time goes back and forth towards God and then away from God.Jesus is the answer.

Ever seen strength in your weakness?


You know we aren’t perfect. You know we don’t know it all. You know that we can’t be everywhere all the time. You know we can do it all. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

But God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. He is omniscient and knows everything. He is omnipresent and is everywhere all the time.

So what do you do when you run into one of your weaknesses? Where do you turn? What does your first response look like? Do you try to use all your possible resources? Do you realize that the answer and the help you need is right there waiting for you to ask?

Let’s consider the words of Paul from 1 Corinthians 2 in regards to this topic…

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬ — http://bible.us/111/1co.2.1-5.niv

We need to realize in those situations that it isn’t all about us! It is more that we get to with the help of God. We get to show the power of the Holy Spirit rather than people can find hope, truth, love and power through God rather than through human wisdom.

So when you face those tough time, and you will because the Bible tell us that in this world we will have troubles but it also tells us to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. In that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance builds character, character hope, making us perfect and lacking nothing. So turn to the one who knows the beginning and the end. Turn to the one who not only has the answer but is the answer.

Rather than allowing the devil to manipulate and torture you with fear and trembling, give it up to God. Ask Jesus to help you or save you. Weakness, fear, and trembling all show up in today’s reading, both ways for good and for bad, so let’s check it out.


Perfected in Weakness

Day 217 – Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Fear and faith … Psalm 91:1-8

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬ — http://bible.us/111/psa.91.1-8.niv

  1. Power in weakness … 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5

  1. Fear and trembling … 1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1

Servant leadership…


Do you realize the impact you have and are making? Do you realize the impact you could have and could make? Are you leading by example? Are you leading by demand? Are you leading as a servant leader? Are people following you because of your character? Are people following you out of a sense of love? Are people following you out of a sense of fear? There is a difference and it makes a difference! Our best example comes from Jesus and He showed that He didn’t come to lead by ordering them around, but rather by serving them. Consider the last supper when He was washing their feet so they would have an example of how they should be leading too … by being humble, servant leaders. Consider how far He was willing to go by give His life as the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to be able to be reconciled back to God! So today, are you a leader? What kind of leader are you? What kind of leader do you want to be? How will you make a difference? It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it! It isn’t always fun, but it is always worth it! If God brings you to it, He will get you through it! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Press onward and complete the work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish!

Today’s reading starts with …

Some Greeks Seek Jesus

20Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. 21They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Jesus Speaks about His Death

27“Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. 28Father, bring glory to your name!” Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.” 29The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, “An angel spoke to him!” 30But Jesus said to them, “It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. 31Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. 32When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” ( 33In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.) 34The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”

–from John 12

Are you leading as light in this dark world? Are you leading as salt in a world that needs to be spiced up, that needs to be drawn out? How will you lead that will make a difference, not only for you, but also for those who choose to follow you? Will you impact their today? Will you impact their tomorrow? Will you impact their eternity? What kind of a leader will you be? Where are you leading them? Will it make a difference to their future? Are you leading them upward or downward? Are you leading them into a future of hope even if in the moment there might be some challenges? Are you leading them to a fatal end that will be hopeless? What is your goal? What is your purpose? Will you make a difference?

Eternal Life

13I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life—you that believe in the Son of God. 14We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. 15He hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him. 16If you see a believer commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray to God, who will give that person life. This applies to those whose sins do not lead to death. But there is sin which leads to death, and I do not say that you should pray to God about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which does not lead to death. 18We know that no children of God keep on sinning, for the Son of God keeps them safe, and the Evil One cannot harm them. 19We know that we belong to God even though the whole world is under the rule of the Evil One. 20We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God—in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life. 21My children, keep yourselves safe from false gods!

–from 1 John 5

So let’s lead in truth! Let’s lead in love! Let’s lead people towards eternity with God! Let’s step in and step up to be able to give people a hand up out of the pit and back into life! Don’t be someone who pushes others into the arms of the devil, but rather, be one that pulls them into the arms of God!

Bildad

1-2Job, can’t people like you ever be quiet? If you stopped to listen, we could talk to you. 3What makes you think we are as stupid as cattle? 4You are only hurting yourself with your anger. Will the earth be deserted because you are angry? Will God move mountains to satisfy you? 5The light of the wicked will still be put out; its flame will never burn again. 6The lamp in their tents will be darkened. 7Their steps were firm, but now they stumble; they fall—victims of their own advice. 8They walk into a net, and their feet are caught; 9a trap catches their heels and holds them. 10On the ground a snare is hidden; a trap has been set in their path. 11All around them terror is waiting; it follows them at every step. 12They used to be rich, but now they go hungry; disaster stands and waits at their side. 13A deadly disease spreads over their bodies and causes their arms and legs to rot. 14They are torn from the tents where they lived secure, and are dragged off to face King Death. 15Now anyone may live in their tents—after sulfur is sprinkled to disinfect them! 16Their roots and branches are withered and dry. 17Their fame is ended at home and abroad; no one remembers them any more. 18They will be driven out of the land of the living, driven from light into darkness. 19They have no descendants, no survivors. 20From east to west, all who hear of their fate shudder and tremble with fear. 21That is the fate of evil people, the fate of those who care nothing for God.

–from Job 18