PRAYER: Holy Father, how we praise you for giving us the essence of Real Life by answering the deepest questions about our purpose and fears. Loving Abba, you have shown us the true way of life, to live fearlessly in this world as the enemy's power is limited to the destruction of our bodies alone and that you have us covered for our eternal life with you. Glorious Lord, strengthen our hearts so we do not fear the adversary but fearfully follow the path you have laid for us. We love you and praise you Lord Jesus. Amen.
The meaning of Christ’s statement was that we are not to conform our lives to the appeasement of those who may threaten us, but rather to God’s will (please read Acts 5:29). If one dies at the hands of a man, it will be only a temporary death. If God kills a man, it will be for eternity.
Courage Amongst Fire – “Dietrich Bonheoffer was on of the few German pastors who had the courage to oppose and speak openly against the regime of Adolf Hitler. For that, for helping Jews escape, and for plotting against Hitler, he was jailed, and then executed. From prison he wrote, ‘those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men.’”
(Doriani, 441 quoting from the Cost of Discipleship) Doriani, “Hugh Latimer was a leader of the English Reformation. On one occasion, he had the daunting privilege of preaching before the sometimes-violent King henry VIII. Latimer was about to say something the king might dislike and fell into an audible dialogue with himself as he stood in the pulpit: “Latimer, Latimer! Be careful what you say. The king is here.” Then he paused and said, ‘Latimer, Latimer! Be careful what you say. The king of Kings is here.” (Boice, 181) When we fear God we don’t have to fear death. But many of us are still very fearful of death!
The Top 10 Fear List: I think most of us could relate too.
10. Fear of losing our freedom
9. Fear of the unknown
8. Fear of pain
7. Fear of disappointment
6. Fear of misery
5. Fear of loneliness
4. Fear of ridicule
3. Fear of rejection
2. Fear of death
1. Fear of failure
No. 2 is the fear of dying… why are we so afraid to die? For some it is the fear of the unknown. For others it is the fear that we will cease to exist. For others it is the fear of hell.
But Christians don’t have to fear dying.
We don’t have to fear having our bodies destroyed. Imagine that you had a beater car (a 1988 Volvo 240 Diesel). If someone told you that they promised to give you a brand new Ferrari when you Volvo died would you be afraid to lose your Volvo? Of course not… In a similar sense Christians know that when we lose our bodies we will eventually get much better ones (See Romans 8).
We don’t have to fear what persecutors will do to our bodies… this requires faith. Maybe you’re thinking… I’m not afraid to die but I am afraid to suffer in this body. If suffering comes we will need power. Life is short eternity is forever. Don’t be afraid.
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