What is the greatest of fears?

In "Doctrinal Discussion" William Sillings writes:

The captain of fears, according to John’s first epistle, is fear of punishment by God. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 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” (4:17, 18). So, the wall plaque is correct, “The fear of God is the fear that drives out all others.”
It should not be assumed by this passage, however, that all fear is sinful or the result of not loving God. Some fears are lodged deep within the subconscious and need to be treated psychologically. They do not have spiritual roots. Nevertheless, even here the fear and love of God are often the keys to freedom from deep-seated fear which does not have moral overtones.

Source: Studies in the Psalms: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 26.

2016-09-23T09:00:00+00:00September 23rd, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

Should Christians Struggle with Fear?

In "Biblical Perspective" Gordon Snider writes:

The shadow of death emphasizes a place of deep darkness and gloom, which may or may not be associated with death. I will fear no evil. This statement must be balanced with other passages, such as Psalm 56:3, 4, where the psalmist admitted that he struggled with fear. Christians do not ignore difficulties; they conquer them. In the metaphor evil clearly did not have moral implications for the sheep. Bad things do happen to good people, but the psalmist said that he did not fear that those bad things would have a permanent injurious effect on his life. The basis of his confidence was the presence of the Shepherd — thou art with me. The Shepherd's primary goal is to get us to the destination. His motivation is to keep us on the “right path.”

Source: Studies in the Psalms: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 18.

2016-09-17T09:00:00+00:00September 17th, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: |0 Comments

What Kind of Fear Defeats Faith?

In "Opening the Word" David Fry notes that fear can be a good thing. Good fear keeps us from doing reckless things, etc. However, there is also fear that defeats faith. Fry writes:

This lesson addresses our need to overcome the kind of fear that is detrimental to our faith. The kind of fear that defeats faith is fear that hesitates when we should obey, retreats when we should advance, and focuses on our weakness rather than God’s strength. Even in the midst of uncertainty, faith produces a calm and settled peace — that is, faith that Christ is present. Faith in Christ consistently drives fear away and frees us to take the next step.

Discussion: What scriptural examples do you recall of 1) faith that hesitates when God should have been obeyed, 2) retreated when they should have advanced, 3) focused on their weakness instead of God's strength?
Source: Miracles of Jesus: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 58.

2016-02-03T08:00:00+00:00February 3rd, 2016|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , |0 Comments

Christ, Master of Fear

Read Matthew 8:23-27
“But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” (v. 27).

What does faith have to do with fear? When someone says to you, “Trust me,” what is your reaction? It totally depends on the person and their track record, right?
One day I was sitting in the grass pulling weeds from around my mom’s beautiful roses. My little nephew, Westley, toddled over, plopped himself in my lap, and said, “Sit on lap, see what happen!” At that time, I merely smiled at the sweet cuteness of his remark. But many times since that “child moment” has come back to me. I can crawl up into God’s lap and just watch as He teaches me to have faith and not fear.
The goal is to learn to back off and observe Him work in what, to our eyes, are impossible situations. As we do we can begin to surrender to His control, sit on His lap, relax in His embrace, and “see what happen!” I can have perfect confidence that His love for me will keep me from sinking beneath any scary wave this life may bring. And learning this lesson can help us to truly enjoy our many blessings. (Wanda Skeen)

Have you learned to lean on Jesus?

This devotional is the Saturday, February 6, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.

2016-02-02T08:00:50+00:00February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Storm Calmed

Lesson 10 - February 7, 2016
Focus Text: Mark 6:45-56
Central Truth: The presence of Christ drives out fear.
Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list ways we can rest in Christ’s presence during stormy times.
Lesson Outline: 

  1. The Master's Prayer (Mark 6:45-46)
  2. The Disciples' Problem (Mark 6:47-49)
  3. The Master's Presnce (Mark 6:50-52)
  4. The Master's Power (Mark 6:53-56)
2016-02-01T08:00:59+00:00February 1st, 2016|Categories: Weekly Lesson Summaries|Tags: , |0 Comments

Do you fear becoming stained by the world?

In "God's Word for Today" David Fry writes:

When Jesus touched the leper, rather than becoming unclean, the leper was cleansed. This tells us that Jesus cannot be contaminated with sin or disease. As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, God likewise has “not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Believers do not have to fear contamination as long as they are living confidently in Jesus Christ.

Discussion: How has the church at times avoided ministering to people in need because the church fears the "stain" of the people's sin and worldliness?
Discussion: How does 2 Timothy 1:7 give you confidence, in place of fear, to live and serve in the midst of an unholy world?
Source: Miracles of Jesus: Adult Teacher's Insights, page 30.

2015-12-23T09:00:01+00:00December 23rd, 2015|Categories: Lesson Highlights|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Devotional: Jesus Raises Jairus' Daughter

Read Luke 8:41-56
“But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole” (v. 50).
What would you say is the opposite of faith? My first thought would probably be “doubt.” In this verse, however, Jesus juxtaposes faith and fear: “Fear not: believe only.”
“What’s wrong with fear?” you might wonder. “Isn’t fear a natural human response?” I certainly find it comes naturally to me. Actually, when faced with a perplexing situation my response most times is more akin to panic.
A certain amount of caution is wise. But when we allow fear or worry to gain the upper hand, it can blot out the truths of God’s wisdom, His power, and His goodness. Instead, all we can see is our big, scary problem.
Charles Spurgeon said it well. “The very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to do for us. . . . Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold. We feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking.”
A little worry can work like termites, almost unseen but totally weakening the structure of faith. So, when we are faced with that undesirable diagnosis, that unforeseen roadblock, that unexpected sorrow, “Fear not: believe only.” (Ashlee Englund)

We must keep our eyes on God.

This devotional is the Sunday, December 13, 2015 entry of Opening the Word. Buy your copy today!

2015-12-08T09:00:30+00:00December 8th, 2015|Categories: Opening the Word|Tags: , |0 Comments


Go to Top