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Fear has No Power over the Word

By Jude Dias, Walk The Same

Read: Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The most common thing that holds people back from moving forward and achieving their dreams is fear. Ask anyone who is hesitant about something, and you’ll find that fear has something to do with it in some way or another. We are no strangers to fear.

We are all created by God to be progressive beings. But life can come to a full stop when we allow fear to take over. The reality is, fear will always come our way to try to stop us in our tracks. Yet we have all been given a destiny, a purpose, and a mission from God which we are called to live out. At the same time, God has provided us with His eternal word and the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen us when fear tries to get in our way. It is up to us to make the choice which side we are going to be on: fear or faith.

Do you struggle with fear? Turn to God: He’s always there and will be there for us forever. Instead of giving in to fear, let us choose to place our faith in Jesus.

ODJ: whining and trusting

October 25, 2015 

READ: Jeremiah 38:1-13 


Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe (39:18). 

Imagine having such a reputation as a whiner that your name becomes a synonym for complaining! That was the case with the prophet Jeremiah. His name provides the basis for the English word jeremiad, which means “lament” or “complaint”.

Jeremiah was no whiner, but it seemed that way to Jerusalem. God had called the prophet to take His complaints to the people. His message pretty much went like this: “Your sins are awful. The Babylonians will slaughter you and take the survivors into captivity. Repent!”

The officials of Jerusalem felt the message was nothing short of traitorous. They thought, Jeremiah is aiding and abetting the enemy by discouraging the people! So three of them went to King Zedekiah and demanded that Jeremiah be killed. “Do as you like,” said the king. “I can’t stop you” (Jeremiah 38:5). So they threw the prophet into a muddy cistern. None of the Judeans dared come to Jeremiah’s rescue. But an Ethiopian did.

We don’t know much about Ebed-melech. The Bible simply calls him “an important court official” (v.7), but he alone defended God’s prophet. “ ‘My lord the king,’ he said, ‘these men have done a very evil thing in putting Jeremiah the prophet into the cistern. He will soon die of hunger’ ” (v.9). So Zedekiah permitted Ebed-melech to rescue him.

Ebed-melech feared the invading hordes (see 39:16-17), but he feared God more. When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he “slaughtered all the nobles of Judah” (v.6), which probably included the three who conspired against Jeremiah. But God told Ebed-melech, “Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe” (v.18). May we also trust God and do what honours Him.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: Acts 11:1-18

MORE
Read Jeremiah 39:1-18 to see the tragic culmination to the story of Jerusalem’s siege (vv.1-10), but also the happier endings for Jeremiah and Ebed-melech (vv.11-18). 
NEXT
Where are the sources of fear in your life? How can you display courage and honour to God today? 

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ODB: Unclear Vision

October 7, 2015 

READ: Job 19:1-21 

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5

 

My friend Meaghan is an accomplished equestrian, and I’ve been learning some interesting things about horses from her. For instance, despite having the largest eyes of all land mammals, horses have poor eyesight and can see fewer colors than humans. Because of this, they can’t always identify objects on the ground. When they see a pole, they don’t know if it’s a pole they can easily step over or a large snake that might harm them. For this reason, until they are properly trained horses are easily frightened and quick to run away.

We too may want to run from alarming circumstances. We may feel like Job who misunderstood his troubles and wished he’d never been born. Since he couldn’t see that it was Satan who was trying to break him down, he feared that the Lord, in whom he had trusted, was trying to destroy him. Overwhelmed, he cried out, “God has wronged me and drawn his net around me” (Job 19:6).

Like Job’s vision, ours is limited. We want to run away from the difficult situations that scare us. From God’s perspective, we are not alone. He understands what confuses and frightens us. He knows we are safe with Him by our side. This is our opportunity to trust His understanding rather than our own.

— Anne Cetas

In what ways have you doubted God’s goodness? How have you seen Him working in your life during a difficult time?


Trusting God’s faithfulness dispels our fearfulness.

 

Be Still, My Heart

By Jude Dias, Walk The Same

Read: Joshua 1:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

My family members, especially my dad, aren’t the most sociable people. So the son they raised—me—had a pretty isolated childhood. I hardly met or hung around other kids, which explains why I was terrified of other people. I’m not kidding: I was actually terrified of normal people. When we did have company at our home, you’d find me hiding under the table or crouching behind the couch. Although I have become more sociable today, I can still remember how terrified and panicked I was when people came. For some reason, I would think that they were monsters coming to get me.

To this day, my heart races and thumps away like crazy when I feel fear. But now, it doesn’t take long for it to calm down and settle back into its natural rhythm. The difference is that I know God is around me: He is alive, He is at work, and I am never alone. The Bible shares many instances of men and women of God going through situations where fear played a major role in that particular season of their lives. However, we see them moving forward because they had their eyes fixed on God. No matter what lay ahead of them, their hearts were focused on their pursuit of God and what He promised.

When we truly accept Jesus into our lives and allow Him to take control over all things, we can rest assured—our hearts can remain still even when the world around us shakes and rumbles. Nothing of this earth can touch our hearts within which Jesus lives and breathes.

So step forward and keep moving. There is nothing that can overpower you.