Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Don't forget to not be afraid!

New International Version
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.  Isaiah 41: 10

Do this in remembrance of me.” New American Standard Bible and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in ...  1 Corinthians 11: 24

It makes perfect sense that the one who created us would know us thoroughly. In reading
through the Bible, the story of Jesus Christ, one often runs across there two exhortations:
Fear Not and Remember Me. 

I think it's safe to say that all human beings deal with fear throughout life. Some of the
fears of childhood, when looking back, seem foolish. I was fearful of bridges. Whenever
we, as a family, would travel in the car, I would hold my breath from the beginning of
the bridge until the end. This became a bit of a problem on long spans!!! I was afraid
of the dark, bees, piano recitals... the list is relatively long. As an adult the fears tended
to change but there were still fears. Despite 34 years of teaching, I was always nervous
during parent open houses. I could handle 120 8th graders easily, but give me a room
full of parents....that's fear!

I suppose it won't come as a surprise that death frightens me. Woody Allen suggests
that he isn't afraid of dieing, he just doesn't want to be there. Well, now that I know Jesus
Christ I am well aware that I will face only one death and it will be with Him at my side.

Angels, prophets speaking with the voice of God and Jesus, who was God, all frequently
admonish us to not be afraid.  Of course, Jesus admits that we should fear the Evil
One who can kill the spirit as well as the flesh.

At the very apex of His ministry, in an upper room, Christ Jesus shares in a post-supper
passing of the bread and the wine. A large part of the ceremony He was setting into
motion was about not forgetting Him, His words, His commission and His ministry.
How, you might ask, could the disciples possibly forget? Well, I am constantly aware that
it is easy for me, in the common tasks of the day, to not be conscious of the love and grace
of the gospel, of what the cross represents and and the ever-present Holy Spirit living within me.  

Yes, he knew us quite well! He knows us, today and we would be smart to remember Him and to minimize our fears. After all, He is the shepherd and we are His beloved sheep.

Praise God!