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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Winter cabin (photo by Greg Schneider)
This winter cabin in the northern Pennsylvania mountains sure looks welcoming!
(Photo by Greg Schneider)

"Fear Is A Liar"

Message summary: As we mature in our love for God (and others), we come to comprehend that we have nothing to fear, for our Father has everything under control. We need to see the fear driven out and that's what God's perfect love will do.

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"When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3). "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love" (1 John 4:18).

We have funny experiences in life and marriage that we give each other permission to share. The other day I was in another room in our house when I heard a very distinctive scream. It was Brooksyne and I knew right away what it was. I went in to examine and she was pointing to an area where we store our dog's feed. She thought she had seen a mouse! It turns out it was one of those black zip wrappers that closes the dog feed bag that was nestled behind the dogfood storage container. When she moved the container the black "zipper" moved around behind the containers and startled her. I comforted her and then disposed of the "scary" zipper, which if I really, really imagine hard does sort of look like a mouse.

I reminded Brooksyne of a verse she memorized and sang to music many years ago.
"When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."

Last year we came across
Zach Williams, a new musician (to us anyway) and his outstanding song "Chain Breaker". In December Brooksyne was in a choir that sang this song, backing up the Gaither Vocal Band. To use a rather southern expression, "it will bless your socks off."

Tuesday morning we were out
driving toward our company to pay a visit and heard another Zach Williams song that really gripped our hearts. Normally at our age we tend to prefer more traditional Christian music such as heard on WDAC, our local station, or enLighten, the southern gospel station on our vehicle radios. But I had tuned into the Message, which tends to be a bit more contemporary, some of it we enjoy very much and others not as much.

The song has the interesting title "Fear Is A Liar". When I got home I looked to see if I could find the song on YouTube and sure enough there it was, including a version that uses actors to convey the message of the song (link to video below). As I watched these real life situations of fear and desperation it occurred to me these are typical of the experiences of so many. We consider those whom we presently seek to encourage and uplift who are in a grip of fear due to the uncertainties of life.

Today's text is one that we encourage memorization. You can draw on it during times of fear and find peace and assurance. The Amplified Bible has a rather colorful way of rendering the verse, "There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]."

As we grow in the love of God,
we cease to be fearful of what He will do.

Pastor Steven Cole observes, "that you cannot draw near to God in love and run from Him out of fear of judgment at the same time. God wants His children to know that 'there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:1)".

As we mature in our love for God (and others), we come to comprehend that we have nothing to fear, for our Father has everything under control. We need to see the fear driven out and that's what God's perfect love will do.

Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath
Stop you in your steps
Fear, he is a liar
He will rob your rest
Steal your happiness
Cast your fear in the fire
'Cause fear, he is a liar

Be encouraged today.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we learn in Scripture that perfect love casts out fear. Since we're born into an imperfect world and surrounded by sinful consequences from the fall it's hard to acquire and remain in perfect love. We find fear ever beckoning and perfect love seemingly far off. But the Word tells us not to fear since it involves expected divine punishment and we know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Dreadful fear comes from the enemy but perfect love comes from heaven above. We cast fear into the fire and receive the perfect love that You give so generously, as seen in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Yesterday I had a routine medical diagnostic procedure and afterwards the physician informed me it was "boring", which was good news. I don't need to have another procedure of this type for ten years. We thank God for a good medical report!

Yesterday our message began with an observation that in some cases a numeric date format may prompt us to consider a familiar Bible verse. Yesterday's date 2/7 caused me to consider Colossians 2:7 for the message. Of course there are many references that these dates represent but I want to share this list and ask you to consider what verses they may prompt you to recall. Of course you must replace the month name with the numeric equivalent such as February 7 is 2/7 (2:7).
  • January 1
  • February 8
  • March 16
  • April 19
  • May 8
  • June 10
  • July 7
  • August 28
  • September 9
  • October 10
  • November 6
  • December 1
Some of these are verses many of you have memorized or at least considered but the reference isn't as familiar but there are several that I expect you will get such as March 16! Several of them are the first in a series of verses we tend to memorize. I wonder how many of us will have the same verse? The verses that I considered are posted below. In most cases I indeed recalled the verse by the numeric reference but in several cases I had to find a familiar one to match!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Fear Is a Liar"  Video  Zach Williams (version with actors)

"Fear Is a Liar"  Video  Zach Williams (version with lyrics)

"Perfect Love"  Video  Jeremy Camp

"Chain Breaker"  Video  Zach Williams

"The Love of God"  Video 
Armond Morales, Robbie Hiner, Dave Will, Rick Evans

Further study: Notes on 1 John 4:18 from Precept Austin online commentary

Here are the verses I considered based upon the numeric date (January 1 is 1/1 or 1:1)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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