Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Genesis 15 - Fear Not - Part Four

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

One of the biggest fears Christians deal with is the fear of going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to every creature - the fear of being a witness for Jesus in this Christ-rejecting world. Perhaps it is the fear of man (which bringeth a snare - see Proverbs 29:25); perhaps it is fear of the unknown, perhaps it is fear of being ashamed, or embarassment (ie. worrying too much what others might think about us); perhaps it is fear of losing friends or family by standing up for the Lord and the things of God. Though I am sure we all (including me) may struggle with this at times, we need not fear anything man or the Devil can throw at us - we have been sent with a comission from God, the promise of the Lord's presence to go with us, and power from the Holy Spirit within us to bear the good news of salvation to the lost He brings across our path each day. Fear not!

1) Fear not - the virgin-born Saviour has come:

Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

2) Fear not - sin's price has been completely paid (by Jesus' death on the cross and His shed blood) and the Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead:

Matthew 28:5-6 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

3) Fear not - if you are a child of God, the Lord will meet all your needs, when you seek Him and His kingdom first:

Luke 12:31-34 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

4) Fear not when you are presenting the message that God has sent you to bear (especially when you are being a witness of the Gospel of Christ):

Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

Ezekiel 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 3:9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

5) Fear not - for God has given you the power you need to serve Him with boldness:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The word for fear in this verse means "timidity." We do not need to be a coward or be timid in our witnessing, because the Lord has given us His power. The Greek word for power is "dunamis" (Strong's #1410) - this is where we get our word "dynamite" from. That is certainly suggestive to my mind! God's power gives us all the force, strength, might and ability that we need to be His witnesses - so why fear?

Not only does God give us the power to serve Him, He fills us with His love for the lost (see Galatians 5:22-23 and Romans 5:5). The word for sound mind means "discipline, i.e. self-control." With the Holy Spirit's dynamic power at work in our lives, we are given the ability to control our minds and resist any fear that would hinder us from being bold in our witnessing.

In light of the power, love and sound mind that the Lord gives us, we do not need to fear or be ashamed of testifying about our Lord and witnessing of the Gospel of Christ (see also Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18):

2 Timothy 1:8 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.

6) Fear not - for His perfect love casts out your fear:

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Perfect means "complete" and also refers to spiritual maturity. The mature Christian has God's perfect love within him, influencing him and constraining him in his service (see 2 Corinthians 5:14). The word for fear here is different than that used in 2 Timothy 1:7 - here it means "to be put in fear; alarm or fright."

God's love in our hearts casts out the fearful alarm or fright in our minds.

Think of a mother whose house is on fire, with her children trapped inside. Because of her love for her children, her fear is cast out and she will risk all to rescue those beloved children. In a similar manner, the child of God whose heart is filled with the love that the Holy Spirit gives will cast out their fear and risk all to rescue the lost from the fires of Hell.

I leave you with one final verse to end this series on "Fear not":

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Are you bold in your witnessing?

Fear not!

July 4th/06
Jerry Bouey

For more studies based on Genesis 15:1:

Genesis 15 - Fear Not - Part One
Genesis 15 - Fear Not - Part Two
Genesis 15 - Fear Not - Part Three
Genesis 15 - Thy Shield
Genesis 15 - Thy Exceeding Great Reward

For more studies in Genesis (with Genesis as the springboard):



Bro Tim said...

Bro Jerry very true post. Many people are afraid to go into all the world and preach the gospel. I believe we get discouraged when no one turns to Christ also. As far as bold in my witnessing. I am not as bold as I once was. This is a area that God has been dealing with me in my life on. Great post and may the Lord help us to spread his Word to a lost and dying world.

Bro Tim

Jerry Bouey said...

may the Lord help us to spread his Word to a lost and dying world.

Amen! I am just like you - I have my times where I am bolder and more outgoing in soulwinning and witnessing than others. I truly need reminders to stir up the fire that is in me. In this study I pointed out what 2 Timothy 1:6-7 said; the verse just before it is interesting too:

2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

The phrase "stir up" means bring the fire to life again." That is definitely what we need in our service and witnessing (and in using our spiritual gifts to edify the church). Then the next verse tells us where we get the power, love, and sound mind to do so - so we need not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord. This passage has been one of the ones the Lord has most used in strengthening me for preaching these last 2 1/2 years (I preach once a week at the Gospel Mission).

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry...thank you so much for your faithfulness in visiting my site and leaving comments. Thank you also for bringing to my attention about my duplicate post. I am having problems with my computer today and don't understand how it posted twice since all seemed to process well...but I deleted the duplicate. Thank you again. Also thank you for putting my site in your links section. You have been a blessing and I enjoy reading what you post as well. My area of witnessing is not what it once was but God is beginning to use me in this area more and more. For that I am thankful. May we all get more bold in our witness and be used to further the gospel of Christ!!!

Kate said...

Brother Jerry - I've just finished reading the series and this has been a true blessing to me!!!

2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

The Lord has stirred my own heart and I'm thankful to blogs like yours which keep the embers burning!!

Jerry Bouey said...

I am glad these studies have been a blessing to those who have been reading them, and it has been an encouragement to me to see how the Lord wants to have us live each day without fear (except for fear/awe towards Him). I am really looking forward to doing the other two parts of Genesis 15:1:

1) I am thy shield
2) and they exceeding great reward.

The shield study will just be one devotion, but the great reward study may need several to cover. I have copied out all the verses, but have not sat down to study them out or organize them yet.

Thank you (and others) for reading my blog and encouraging me by your comments (I always appreciate good feedback). God bless.

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