Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Assurance of God's Protection: What We Can Learn From A Three Year Old

One of the greatest joys of my life is spending time with my grand babies. It is in those times when  the Lord teaches me the most significant spiritual lessons.  One day,  while I was walking hand in hand with my  beautiful three year old grandson  I asked him , “Jackson when grandma is old will you take care of her? He replied without hesitating……”Yes! Yes! Grama, I will push you away from CAWS!” That’s cars to you and me.  My heart nearly burst. In his three year old heart he equated taking care of someone with protecting them from danger. He said it with so much confidence and assurance. This precious little three year old boy just knew that if you care for someone you protect them. End of story. Duh! 

There is one whose love transcends beyond the love and our ability to care for one another in our humanness.  It is our beloved Savior Jesus Christ.  Do we have the same confidence and assurance of that precious little boy that our God can and will care for and protect us? 

Paul the apostle had this assurance. He was beaten, shunned by his fellow countryman, accused falsely, run out of town, abandoned by the believers, locked up behind bars, yet he wrote….”If God is for us who can be against us.?” (Romans 8:31) When facing death by the fiery furnace at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel with the same unwavering assurance said --”God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand.” David the young shepherd boy was appalled that God’s chosen people --- the children of the covenant no less where running in fear from the giant Goliath causing him to cry out -- ”Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who dares come up against God’s elect?” (1 Samuel 17:26) With unwavering assurance he took on the giant declaring to this foe -- ”You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands!” ( 1 Samuel 17:45-46). Don't you love that? The bible is full of story upon story about God's protection and His children's unwavering assurance of His sovereign protection.

Christians! Children of the most high God! You have the same assurance of God’s love and protection. No matter the storm, no matter the trial, no matter the enemy you face. Your God is with you.  Hold on to God’s word with assurance of His protection and He will strengthen you and move you forward, unwavering and victorious declaring Isaiah 54:17 over your life -- ”No weapon formed against me will prosper.” Or in the modern translation of a three year old -- He will push you away from CAWS!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Cure for Fear

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you…”
Acts 18:19-10

Everywhere Paul preached Jesus Christ, the  people rose up against him.  He had been beaten, imprisoned, and stoned. In Thessalonica he had to sneak out of town at night.  Those in Berea drove him out of town. But these were all fairly civil places.  Corinth, however – where Paul now finds himself  -- was a rough, wicked city.  No doubt Paul felt anxious.  No doubt he worried about the Jews who held his fate in their hands.  “Don’t be afraid…for I am with you. “ Therein lies the cure for fear – The realization of God’s presence. 

Paul wrote to the Romans, “If God is for us , who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:31).  David said, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).  The Lord said to the prophet Isaiah, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with MY righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Are you going through uncertain times? Remember the One who said, “ I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) You face nothing alone. Your God is with you. 

Father, we thank You for the comfort of Your presence with us in the midst of the dark nights, in the midst of the hours of discouragement, and in times of fear.

Pastor Chuck Smith