Daily Archives: January 6, 2021
Psalm 33:1-5 (ESV)
The Steadfast Love of the Lord
33 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
Luke 12:1-7 (ESV)
Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees
12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Have No Fear
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after can do no more…Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:4, 7).
Fear is not always a bad thing. God himself gave us the emotion of fear to energize us, to focus our attention, and to help us deal with a threat when danger surfaces. But so often our fears are exaggerated or misplaced. We fear the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
It’s when we focus too much on ourselves that fear cripples us. We keep silent about our faith because we are afraid of what others will think of us. We are afraid that if we say the wrong things, we will disappoint ourselves, someone else, or God. We can forget how good and faithful God is and become filled with anxiety about the future: What if global warming melts the polar ice caps? What if terrorists poison our drinking water? What if we or a loved on were to contract an incurable disease?
This kind of fear is a work of the devil. He wants to keep us living under dark and ominous clouds so that we never look up to God and find the strength, the courage, and the confidence to move forward. He knows that when we give in to our fears, we become paralyzed and unable to do what God is calling us to do. We forget his loving care, to which Jesus testifies so plainly when he reminds us that even the sparrows are under his protection (Luke 12:6).
Fear is a good thing, even a gift. Let’s not forget that even Jesus was fearful at times. But fear can also overpower us and hold us in spiritual and physical bondage. For instance, it’s normal to be concerned about the safety of our spouse or children, but it’s not good for this concern to cross over into a sense of anxiety and impending dread. When this happens, we can turn to the Lord and ask for his protection and deliverance. We can surrender our lives to him and tell him that we know we can’t control everything that happens but that we trust in him and his plan.
Jesus, help me to cast away needless fear and trust in your powerful, personal love. Amen.