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Church Message
There is No Need to be Afraid
By Pastor Stuppy

Church sponsors2 24apr14Church message imageA tourist down south one summer struck up a conversation with a local farmer. "How's your cotton coming?" asked the stranger. "Don't have any," was the reply. "Didn't plant any. Afraid of the boll weevil." "Well, how's your corn?" "Didn't plant any of that either. 'Fraid of the drought." "How about your potatoes" "None of them, either. Scared of the tater bugs." "Well, then,, what did you plant?" the stranger finally asked? "Nothin'," answered the farmer, "I just played it safe."

What makes you afraid? Answers range from death to the dentist; from cancer to riding in an airplane; from rejection in love to losing your job; from mice to a low gradepoint average; from greeting people here at church to telling someone else about your Savior.

Fear. Someone defined it as "the wrong use of imagination. It is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen."

It's truly amazing what fear can do to you and me. Fear in the hands of Satan poses sinister spiritual dangers. He aims to frighten you and me so that we do things we would not otherwise do, and failing to do things we should do, thereby breaking God's law. If he succeeds, you and I are ineffective as disciples of Jesus Christ. We may even abandon God.

So what help is there for us, to set us free from our fears? The solution is found in Christ's love for you and me. In I John 4:18, we read, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment..." (I John 4:18).

The opposite of fear is love. Jesus showed this loved in everything that he did. As he was betrayed by those closest to him, as he was terrorized and executed by those who were his enemies, Jesus showed no sign of fear. One reason is that he loved them. The calmness with which Jesus faced his accusers and the cruel death he endured was not simply courage on his part. It was love. "Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a ..... sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2). "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us" (I John 3:16). His love for us drove away fear. His love for us is meant to drive away our fears too. In love he conquered death so we need not fear it. In love he took our sins to the cross so we might be free from the slavery of sin. We need fear sin no longer.

His love also led him to be condemned for us. The result is that God no longer condemns us for our sins. "There is, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1) Paul says that God uses all things for our good and that nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Read Romans 8:28- 39.)

God loves you! He suffered and died for you! He was punished in your place! He has taken away your sins! He uses all things, even "misfortune" for your good! Don't be afraid! You have nothing to fear! Let God's love take your fears away!


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In brief 26mar15