Are you living without fear?
Every morning during my quiet time, before I read God’s Word, it makes a huge difference if I FIRST ask Him to bless the reading. When I do, His wisdom pops out of nearly every line (maybe not so much with the genealogies 😜). For example, in my New Testament Bible read-through, I am back in the book of Matthew. The teachings of Jesus are so rich that I must frequently stop and really study the passage. This morning was no different. The Lord gave me an irrepressible desire to share.
My friend, God’s Word makes us so rich, we MUST share it!
Matthew recounts the remarkable story of Jesus on the raging Sea of Galilee:
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves.
But He was asleep.
Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
But He said to them,
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?“
Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying,
“Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”Matthew 8:23-27 NKJV
As I read this, I asked: “How could Jesus sleep peacefully during a storm that was so bad that the waves were covering the boat and even the seasoned fishermen were frightened for their lives???” My first thought was that because He is the Lord over all of the elements, of course, He could sleep peacefully. He knew that HE was still in control. That may be a big part of the reason. However, as I meditated on the Scriptures and thought about other passages, an even more astounding reason came to mind.
Proverbs 28:1 states that there is a vital connection between fear and RIGHTEOUSNESS:
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.Proverbs 28:1 NKJV
Taking this scripture in tandem with the fact that Jesus is completely righteous, it makes sense that He would have NO FEAR of anything! Furthermore, the Bible makes another remarkable connection—between fear and LOVE:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.1 John 4:18 NKJV
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.1 John 4:8 NKJV
God is love and love casts out fear. Interesting. More than just Jesus’ control over the elements, His NATURE—loving, righteous and just—means He does not fear. When we are born again, our soul and spirit are given the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, we are given the ability to LOVE like Christ; otherwise He would not have commanded us to do so when He said:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you…John 13:34 NKJV
Fear is a gift that helps us avoid situations that can harm us. But there is a very unhealthy side to fear. Fear is a catalyst of so many of the conflicts that we face every day. Fear motivates us to fret about what people think about us. Fear causes us to work long hours at the wrong job, because we don’t think we can pay the bills. Fear causes us to buy things we can’t afford in order to please ourselves and the people around us. And the list goes on…
Rather than living in fear, when we are born again, we have a choice. We don’t have to live in unhealthy fear. We can make Jesus the center of our life, and seek to live in obedience to His Word. What does that do? Well it strengthens the influence of HIS love and righteousness in our life and weakens the influence of selfishness and unrighteousness. The result? We learn to live without unhealthy fear.
Jesus knows your storm and He isn’t afraid of it!
When we seek to love Jesus with all our heart, soul and mind—we aren’t afraid either.
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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