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Jim Schlatter – Spiritual Director – Apple of His Eye Charity – India Trip 2020 with the orphans at Apple of His Eye Children’s Home

“Do not be afraid little flock, it is the father‘s good pleasure to give you the kingdom “
(Luke 12:32)

Today Jesus wants to tell those of us who believe in him to not be afraid.

The devil is the master of fear and he uses many people and entities to do his work of spreading fear. But God says repeatedly in his word “Do not fear”.

I have heard there is a derivative of that message 365 times in the Scriptures. I haven’t counted them but I would be happy for anyone to fact check it for the simple fact that reading God‘s word will be good for you. And if I am wrong about the number at least you will have done a lot of good reading.

At any rate, God thinks it is important that we should not fear but rather have faith in him.

Today we come to fear so many things. We fear sickness and death. We fear bad changes in our society. We worry if we will run out of money or if we will have a job or clothes or a home or if we will find friendship or compassion.

Politically half of us in the USA are terrified that Trump will not be reelected president while the other half are terrified that he will be reelected.But Jesus Advice to us is the same “Do not be afraid”. And more than that, he tells us that it is his father‘s good pleasure to give us so much more than we could’ve ever wished for.

He wants to give us the kingdom.

To me that is extremely comforting. It is something I am willing to sell out everything else in order to attain.

God is the giver of every good and perfect gift that I could ever need. In Jesus I find redemption and purpose, forgiveness, and identity.

More than that, he promises to provide everything that I need daily and he promises to hear my prayers. Whenever I open the door for fellowship, he is waiting outside wanting to talk with me and encourage me, and to hold me in his arms.

This is not just a gift for me, it’s a gift for anyone who comes to him, and finds their identity in God as their father.

In him the weak become strong and the poor become rich.

When we try to help others the best gift that we can give them is the gift of identity in Christ Jesus and a relationship with him.

I can give a homeless man $100 or an encouraging word which might help him for a day or a week. But if I can introduce him to a relationship with the Almighty God, his needs will be met permanently on every level.

This is not “Pollyanna” or “pie in the sky” or “wishful thinking”, it is the word of God.

David puts it this way in the Psalms.

“Fear the Lord you his saints for those who fear him lack nothing. The Lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. “Psalm 34:9-10.

Now I know that those who like to argue, will say “I thought you were not supposed to be afraid”. But if you are going to fear, God is who you should fear. This kind of fear is not of terror; But when we have a relationship with Jesus, it is a fear that means respect and coming underneath his authority, and being obedience to his word.

There are many today who reject God and thus they do have reason to be afraid because they have rejected his care and provision for them.

These ones have exchanged his wisdom for conventional and social wisdom of the day. Eventually they are going to be very disappointed and let down because this worldly wisdom will collapse under the weight of sin and separation from God.

The ones I am speaking to are those of you who belong to him, and to you he says “Don’t be afraid it is the father‘s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”.

 

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