Being Afraid - Fearless Teaching 1
Being afraid, as used in this teaching, is a reference to experiencing a high level of fear and apprehension.
Introduction: I believe this series of studies will help us be stronger disciples of Jesus Christ.
A key idea throughout this series is to be fearless (i.e., in relation to this world) and faithful (i.e., in relation to God’s will).
This series of teachings is based on the above mentioned book (By Max Lucado. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2009). The format of the teaching will feature summary highlights of the chapter, some discussion questions and points, and pastoral comments.
Students are encouraged to purchase the book (see below to purchase); however, these class notes will be sufficient for the intended studies.
Chapter One – Why Are We Afraid?
Summary Highlights -
- What if faith, instead of fear, was your default? Storms come, even when you are with Jesus (see Mt. 8:23-26). Getting on board with Christ can mean getting soaked with Him as well (see Jn. 16:33).
- The disciples’ fear or their being afraid led to them doubting the character of Christ – do you not care? Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. It urges us to be control freaks. “Do something about it… fix it…” was the implication. Fear can make us mean. Fear dulls our miracle memory and creates a spiritual amnesia.
- Fear urges us to make safety our God, and we worship the “risk free” life. Consequently, the fearful cannot love deeply, because love is risky business. Benevolence towards the poor has no guarantees. The worship of safety keeps us from greatness.
- Of the 125 commands of Jesus, 21 had to deal with “fear not” or “be of good cheer” type of concerns. See Matthew 10:31; 9:2; 6:25; Luke 8:50; Matthew 14:27; 10:28; Luke 12:32; John 14:1,3, 27; Luke 24:38; Matthew 24:6; 17:7.
- Fear or being afraid is not sin, but it can lead to sin. When we medicate fear with angry outbursts, drinking binges, sullen withdrawal, or viselike control, we exclude God from the solution and enlarge the problem. A spirit of fear is not of God (see II Tim. 1:7).
Fear is in the world, but it doesn’t have to be in our hearts. It knocks at the door, but you don’t have to let it in and entertain it.
Discussion Questions and Points -
1. What are some examples of storms or trouble that have come into your life, in spite of your being a Christian?
2. How has fear led to spiritual amnesia in your life?
3. Discuss how fear makes it hard to love others (i.e., relationally and benevolence) and press towards greatness.
4. Discuss how faith and fear cannot dominate the same entity and how God wants us to be ruled by faith, not fear.
Pastoral Comments -
- The Christian life is not storm free. However, because of our faith in Christ, we ought to choose not to engage in being afraid of the circumstances of life. Fear leads to godless and sinful lives. But a faith filled life allows us to serve the Lord and live for Him.
There are too many people who are afraid to serve the Lord at a higher level, even though God is able to handle whatever we are afraid of. Let’s work on building our faith through prayerful study and obedience to God’s word with the support of others. Let’s starve our fears by not feeding them.
Conclusion: It is my prayer that this material has not simply been interesting. The hope is that you have prayerfully studied it and engaged in some serious soul searching. The ultimate aim is for us to be doers of God’s will – mature disciples of Christ.
Let’s continue to work on being both fearless (i.e., in relation to this world) and faithful (i.e., in relation to God’s will). God has much for those who obey His will.
||Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Fear is like an invisible prison. It holds you captive, influencing your choices and perceptions about life, God, and other people. Can you imagine what your life would be like without fear? With so much going wrong in the world it can seem hard to picture. In Fearless, Max Lucado author of 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, and pastor of Oak Hills Church, shows you how life can be lived with confidence and joy, when you replace your fear with faith. Let this inspiring and timely message encourage your heart today!
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