Let us continue to remember the families of those grieving in Connecticut. Let me remind you of the four texts from Sunday’s message, “I am afraid. NOT!”
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.”
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
I shared the following four points from these Scriptures:
1. We don’t have to fear other people when God is leading us. Joseph didn’t have to let a fear of other people’s opinions keep him from doing what the angel told him God wanted him to do. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, we live to please just one Person. We live for Christ alone. The voice of the crowd is traded for the voice of the Shepherd, and we can trust He always knows what He is doing.
2. Second, we don’t have to fear because God answers prayer. When the angel showed up to tell Zechariah the news the angel’s message included these words in Luke 1:13, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. Reassurance was to come to Zechariah as he recalled that God was and is a prayer-answering God. When you run to the stronghold of prayer you break the stronghold of fear.
3. We don’t have to fear because like Mary we possess the favor of God.
Favor is often translated as “grace.” Grace is the measure or gift of God in every circumstance which will give you supernatural strength and endurance and peace in spite of your circumstances. If you look at it that way, you are “indestructible” when you possess the favor of God because God’s grace is always sufficient or more than enough. So, no matter what you walk through, it can’t overtake or destroy you or keep you from making forward progress because God will see you through.
4. Finally, we don’t have to fear eternity because God has given us good news to believe and share.
In Luke 2:10 the angels told the shepherds they didn’t have to be afraid because of the good news they had to share. The Good News was that the Savior had been born and since it was good news for all people, no one would ever have to be afraid again.
May God enable us to walk in His Shalom, His perfect peace.
I hope to see you Wednesday night at “Candles and Carols” at 6:45!
Thanks to our fabulous choir, dance team, and drama group for a wonderful weekend of inspiration!
Praise the Lord!