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Be Not Afraid

Perfect love casts out fear.

Jesus tells his disciples that "No servant is greater than his master." If the Lord Jesus suffered persecutions, so will His disciples. He warns them that they will face opposition in the form of difficulties, persecution and humiliations, but tells them not to be afraid and that they must still proclaim the gospel.

We have all faced times when we have found it difficult to share our faith with others. We may be afraid of being criticized , teased, or even losing our job. It would be tempting to stop preaching the gospel or to soften its message in order to make things easier and protect ourselves from suffering.

Jesus asks us to face our fears. We cannot eliminate fear, feeling cannot be eliminated. Courage to face them comes only from trusting in God’s loving care.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Three times in Matthew 10 Jesus said, ‘Fear not.’ He is telling us that we should not be troubled in the midst of difficulties. This fearlessness comes when we truly trust God, when we have a strong faith in Him. And here Jesus teaches us that a strong faith is founded in three things:
a. Faith in God's justice - People may slander us. People may tell lies about us. We can take it without fear because We have confidence in god’s justice. We know that he will reveal the truth and that He will vindicate those who walk in the truth. Even if the truth is hidden now it will someday be known.

b. Faith in God's power - Don’t be afraid of man. His power is limited. He can only kill the body. He cannot touch the person’s soul. But be afraid of God because His power is unlimited. He can kill both body and soul.

c. Faith in God's love - God watches over the sparrow, the cheapest life sold at the market. He has also counted the hairs of our head, knowing whether they are many or few. We see here how God cares for the even the smallest creatures and the smallest details of our lives. That is how much God loves us. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). Fear has no place in love. These two, fear and love, are in fact as incompatible as oil and water. Perfect love casts out fear. The solution to fear is not a change in circumstances (even though it can provide a temporary relief) but a deep grounding in the love of God.

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