Tuesday, August 30, 2016

When "Lost" is real...

  Several weeks after hearing this true story, I’m still chuckling. Back in mid-July, three women were stranded overnight on the banks of the Muskegon River in Western Michigan after a first-time tubing trip. What started out as a fun-filled float down the river, turned into a nightmarish 20+ hour ordeal. The three, all in their 20s, set out around 4 p.m. on July 12th. 24 hours later, they had to be rescued by local fire officials. According to Deputy Fire Chief Bob Grabinski, “They went and bought some tubes and they went to the Maple Island Bridge, which is one of the access points to the river, a popular spot. They were misinformed: Somebody said (the river) makes a big loop and they’d come right back to their car.” Unfortunately, they didn’t understand basic geography.
  “They thought it was great,” Grabinski said of the alleged circular river. “They believed it.” The threesome set out on what was expected to be a quick, easy trip. Right about dark they realized that wasn’t the case. They got off the river onto the bank and began screaming for help, but were in an isolated area. Nobody was going to hear their screams. To further complicate matters, they had no food, shelter and were in swimsuits. As they were out on the water, they didn’t bring a cellphone. It was sheer chance they were rescued the next day, about three miles from where they’d launched. A fisherman happened to hear them and called 911.
  When first responders found them, they were in good spirits, though they had scratches from trying to walk through some thorny-type bushes and lots of bug bites. Emergency personnel took them back to their vehicle, where it was determined their body temperatures were slightly lower than normal. They were advised to get checked out at a hospital. Since they declined transportation by ambulance, officials didn’t know if they followed up for medical treatment. But their tubing days are over. According to Grabinski. “They said, ‘I will never do this again’.”  
  “Somebody said (the river) makes a big loop and they’d come right back to their car.” Your Mom told you, “Don’t believe everything you hear,” yet, most do believe everything they hear. We’re told satisfaction comes from the material and physical, temporal world stuff – pleasure, popularity, wealth, a life of ease. It doesn’t. Should we really be surprised when the people of this world “believe everything they hear”? For them, this world is all there is. Life is limited to a horizontal perspective.
  What’s heartbreaking though is when Christians, those of us who are otherworldly, who’s life doesn’t end with our last breath “believe everything we hear.” We’d be wise to periodically read the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s the emptiness and exasperation of a man attempting to find meaning and satisfaction by “believing everything he’s heard.”
  These women would have saved themselves a frightening night and public shame, if they’d just consulted a map. A little basic knowledge of geography would have spared them lots of embarrassment.
  Know something even more foolish? Christians who know God, yet rarely, if ever consult His roadmap for this life and the next. What do you really know? What would you or even others say you’re an expert at? Truly proficient at? More importantly, does it matter? Will it make a difference in this life and more importantly the next?
  There’s no question that Richard Dawkins, famed British biologist and atheist, is a genius. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is a brilliant entrepreneur. Usain Bolt is one of today’s greatest athletes. But in a mere fifty years, will it matter? In eternity, none of that will even be on the level of the importance of navel lint. How can we make our lives matter? How can we be people of wisdom? Wonderfully, it’s not a secret for the elite few.
  Study and apply God’s Word to your life. Americans prize knowledge. It’s not enough to know truth. We must practice it. We must apply it to life. Wisdom only begins with knowledge. Every believer should spend time in God’s Word nearly every day. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) to understand what you read. Ask the Spirit to apply God’s truth to your life.
  Please don’t attend church…come to worship. Sitting in a geography class wouldn’t have helped these three women unless they listened, learned and applied it to life. Sitting in a church service physically without engaging mentally and most of all, spiritually can get you stranded in life.
  Participate in a group Bible study. Too many of us too highly esteem our own counsel. Just read Facebook, opinions on a blog, or listen to talk radio. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
  Currently, I’m reading The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. It’s amazing how much outside counsel those two brothers sought out. Their success in flying literally came from soaring on the wings of others.
  The same is true spiritually. As we engage with others, as we study and work through God’s Word, we all grow. We’re all stretched.
  Some of the most ignorant individuals you’ll meet are those who only listen to their own counsel. Many a married couple blunders along because they’ve just talked to each other, rather than seeking outside godly advice. Christianity is not a solo sport. Each of us needs to surround ourselves with godly friends who will “speak the truth in love” in our lives.   
  God has called us to an upper path of spiritual progress – sanctification. It happens as we’re in the Word, under biblical teaching, interacting with other brothers and sisters, and obediently applying His truth to our daily lives. Far too many of us are satisfied with just going in circles.

Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Gracechurchwi.org. Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed my life in "My Story." E-mail me at Carson@gracechurchwi.org to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Killing Nike

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others.
It is the only thing.”  Albert Schweitzer

  On Wednesday, August 3rd, “just do it” became “just ditch it,” at least as far as golf equipment is concerned. Nike Inc., the world’s largest maker of sporting goods, will stop selling golf equipment, striking another blow to a pastime hurt by slowing participation rates in recent years. Nike will shift away from golf clubs, balls and bags, but will continue selling footwear and apparel for the sport. Sales at the Nike Golf division fell 8.2% to $706 million in the recent fiscal year that ended in May, making it the company’s worst performing major category.
  Obviously, there are many contributing factors to this business decision. Some, including professional golfer, Phil Mickelson, have criticized the equipment, describing it as inferior. Golf’s appeal has slumped in recent years, particularly among many millennials. Then, golf ranked as Nike’s smallest category last year, below action sports, women’s training and other segments. Sales of the division have fallen for three straight years.
  Perhaps the greatest single moment in popularizing Nike equipment occurred during the 2005 Masters Tournament. On his way to his fourth green jacket, Tiger Woods chipped in for an impossible birdie on the 16th hole after watching his ball journey to the bottom of the cup. The shot revealed the iconic Nike swoosh, appearing to stand still for one breathtaking moment, before disappearing into the hole. Nike built its golf business around the stardom of Tiger Woods, who helped draw interest to the sport from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. And many now connect the demise of Nike with the downfall of Tiger Woods.
  In 2009, news leaked out that Tiger Woods’ marriage was unraveling. It was reported he’d committed adultery with more than a dozen women. The next year, he and his wife, Elin Nordegren, divorced. Someone insightfully observed, “First Tiger Woods killed his marriage and then he killed Nike.”
  Isn’t it amazing how much influence one person can have for good or for bad? Much of today’s current cynicism and skepticism of politicians finds its roots in the deception and subsequent downfall of President Richard Nixon. Yet, Billy Graham probably influenced more people for the Gospel during the last century than any other one person. John Donne was right, “No man is an island.” Isn’t influence what Jesus was talking about when He referred to His followers as “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”? All of us want our lives to have significance. Our influence on others is a vital part of that. How can you and I be people of influence?
  We must realize there is power in prayer. Every believer gives lip service to that, yet we quickly dismiss it as some pious platitude. It isn’t. The sad reality is very few are people of prayer. We trust in programs to make a difference. We trust in money to move us forward. We don’t really believe in the power of prayer. Yet, prayer is an indispensable part of the Christian’s and local church’s life. There’s a direct connection between the waning influence of Christianity and a lack of prayer among God’s people.
  We must realize there is power in truth. Do we really believe in the power of the truth of God’s Word? God’s truth is powerful…much more powerful than Satan’s lies. But do we really believe that? When we believe something is true, it alters our behavior. For example, we believe fire can hurt us. Only someone irrational puts their hand on a hot stove. It’s true belief. Most of us say we believe God’s Word has power but when the heat is on, we doubt. We don’t live by faith or really believe God’s Word has power, but it does. When we believe it, when we believe Scripture is powerful and sufficient, it will change our behavior.
  We must realize there is power in example. While truth is powerful when it’s debated or argued, it’s more powerful when it’s demonstrated. It’s hard to exaggerate the potency for good a committed Christian and even more so, a committed Christian family can exert for godliness. The community can see the husband and wife loving and honoring one another, devoted and faithful to one another, finding fulfillment in one another. They see the children growing up in the security of a godly, loving home. They see a family not focused in on itself, but turned outward—loving and caring for others, welcoming and entertaining strangers, keeping an open home, seeking to be involved in the concerns of the community. One committed Christian nurse in a hospital; one committed Christian teacher in a school; one committed Christian in a factory—will always make a difference for the Kingdom. Christians are marked people. A lost world is watching. May they see a difference in us, that they “may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
  We must realize there is power in spiritual family. As believers, we have the power of group solidarity, of a dedicated minority. Sociologist Robert Belair, said, “We should not underestimate the significance of the small group of people who have a vision of a just and gentle world. The quality of a whole culture may be changed when two percent of its people have a new vision.” That was Jesus’ plan. With a small group of just 12 dedicated people, they literally turned their world upside down. Our church can have an enormous influence for godliness, not just here but around the world, if we’ll commit together to wholeheartedly love Jesus.
  In 1848, Dr. John Geddie went to Aneityum, an island in Vanuatu and faithfully served the Lord there for the next 24 years. On the tablet erected to his memory these words are inscribed: “When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.” It’s the power of the influence of one. Will you be that one?  

Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Gracechurchwi.org. Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed mine in "My Story." E-mail me at Carson@gracechurchwi.org to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Blessed are the Persecuted..."

“All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.” Leo Tolstoy

  Did you hear the recent news report that as many as 15,000 Americans are on various “kill lists” the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization has put out, with many of them not knowing they’ve been marked for death?
  Writing for Charisma News, Michael Synder, says some of those on the kill lists have been notified by the FBI. However, many haven’t received FBI notification and are unaware they’ve been marked for death by ISIS. Since the lists aren’t publicly available, Americans wouldn’t know whether their names are on the kill lists. He went on to report he was contacted by someone who told him the FBI had informed him that he and his wife were on the ISIS kill lists. Even more alarming was their discovery that other members of their church, including their pastor, are also on kill lists.
  Islamic terrorists aren’t afraid to target and kill innocent people in Western Europe and the United States, as proven by their attacks in Orlando, Dallas, Nice and Baton Rouge. Recently, it was reported a 21-year-old Islamic radical purchased a gun and admitted to police he planned to go into a Detroit megachurch and start shooting people inside on a Sunday morning. After he was arrested and subsequently charged in court, the suspect told authorities since he couldn’t do his jihad in the Middle East, he intended to “do my jihad over here.”
  Though our brothers and sisters in many parts of the world think often of it, we in America have forgotten Jesus’ words in Matthew 5. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted” (5:10). Then, in verse 11, He said, “Blessed are you…” to those already suffering persecution. In saying these things, Jesus serves notice to His disciples that those who follow Him faithfully should expect to experience a measure of rejection. It’s critical to notice Jesus doesn't say, “Blessed are you if people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you.” Instead, Jesus says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you.” Persecution, death threats are inevitable for those who faithfully follow Christ.
  Because of religious freedom in Western Civilization, Christians have become accustomed to persecution free lives. Yet, it’s not the experience of most Christians in the rest of the world. It’s not been the experience of most Christians throughout history.
  We take for granted religious liberty in America. But, even here, in those early days in America, it wasn’t the case. As late as 1774, James Madison wrote to a friend in Pennsylvania about troubling developments in Virginia.
  While today we hear much about oppressive British taxes, it wasn’t Madison’s primary concern in this letter. The “worst” news he had to deliver was that the “diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution” was raging in the colony. “There are at this [time]…not less than 5 or 6 well meaning men in [jail] for publishing their religious sentiments…Pray for liberty of conscience to revive among us.” Today we think of early America as a bastion of religious liberty, in Colonial America it wasn’t the case. Baptists, Quakers and other nonconformists suffered discrimination and abuse in America believers today in places like China or Nigeria would find strangely familiar.
  For example, in 1651, a man named Obadiah Holmes, accused of proselytizing for the Baptists, was taken from his cell at Boston’s prison to receive a punishment of thirty lashes with a three-corded whip. Holmes had been alone in prison for weeks, struggling to come to terms with the impending travail. But the day of his whipping, an unusual calm came over him. Although his captors tried to keep him from speaking, he would not be silent. “I am now come to be baptized in afflictions by your hands,” Holmes said, “that so I may have further fellowship with my Lord, and am not ashamed of His sufferings, for by His stripes am I healed.”
  Holmes was tied to a post. The officer tasked with meting out Holmes’s sentence spit on his hands, took up a whip, and began flailing him with all his might. Still, Holmes felt the presence of God as at no other time in his life. The pain of the scourging lifted away. When they untied him, Holmes stood up and smiled. “You have struck me as with roses,” he chided them.
   Long before political correctness, multi-culturalism and secularism took hold in America, persecution was part of the American story. Where religious freedoms failed Bible-believers, they endured oppression for their theological convictions. Every generation of Christians must be prepared for it. “A servant is not greater than his master,” said Jesus. “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
  To be sure, some Christians believe they’re suffering persecution for their faith, when instead because they’re obnoxious or annoying, they’ve brought attacks upon themselves. If you goof off at work, if you’re rude or surly in sharing your faith – you’re not being persecuted for your faith. You’re suffering natural consequences of bad behavior.
  As believers, even when we’re mistreated, harassed or persecuted – we are commanded to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to the very ones who abuse us. We’re to be the most loving, joyful, peaceful and gentle of people. If they persecute us, our Christlikeness should be our strongest rebuke for their abuse, just as it was in the early church.
  This may sound strange, in many ways it would be an honor to be on an ISIS hit list. It would be a commendation to be so faithfully serving Jesus the Enemy is threatened by you and plots to take you out! That Satan would be so threatened, he’d urge his followers to silence you.
  It’s what it truly means to be a Spirit-filled Christian. The Lord Jesus is so in control of your life, the minions of Hell are threatened by your faith.  

Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Gracechurchwi.org. Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed mine in "My Story." E-mail me at Carson@gracechurchwi.org to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

God-Talk in God's Family

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  Does your family have a story? Nearly every family does. Our family loves to spend time together just talking. Sometimes it’s serious. Many times we’re giggling or laughing. Lots of times we reflect on funny stories from the past. There are stories and “key” words only we understand. For example, all five of us know what “pudding” means and it’s not a dessert.
  These family stories make us who we are and draw us closer to each other. Someday we’ll pass on many of these wonderful stories to our grandchildren. They’re the heartfelt conversations which make us unique and who we are. Your family probably has them too.
  God’s plan is for each local church to be a family. Sadly, we’ve veered from that, particularly in America. Often the local church is more like a business, a religious franchise. It’s not what God designed us for.
  Anyone studying the New Testament quickly realizes God planned for the local church to be a family. It’s one reason why we believe joining a local church is biblical. It’s very hard to be a “family” when you’re uncertain of who’s really in the family or who’s committed to it.
  It struck me recently we’re missing out on something when we’re together we can’t have out there – family conversations. Jesus designed us to be a Christian counterculture. Our conversations with each other when we gather to worship and fellowship should be different than nearly any other place. Have you ever noticed though, when we’re with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we talk about nearly everything else but family matters? Shouldn’t spiritual family conversations dominate our dialogue, rather than be the exception? Our times together are opportunities for us to fulfill those powerful “one another” commands in the New Testament?
  Some conversations shouldn’t take place though in a church family. They’re story and “one another” killers. Let me touch on a few.
  Whining/complaining. Whining kills communication and God hates whining. It cost the Children of Israel 40 years of wandering. Most churches have far too much of it. It’s usually over miniscule things: room temperature, music, seating, refreshments, minor annoyances, volume, etc.
  Sarcasm. Our culture is verbally cruel. Sometimes at church the pagan language of digs, put-downs or cuts is used. It’s wrong and it’s sin.
  Politics. When it comes to biblical values, there’s very little difference between the political parties. It’s primarily a philosophy of government. The only biblical form of government is a Theocracy, which was for Israel and won’t happen again until King Jesus returns. To cause Kingdom division over human government is a violation of Galatians 3:28.
  Business. Jesus cast the moneychangers out of the Temple. Yet, Americans are so “business” focused, it dominates our conversations, even in church. In a day of cell phones and e-mail, let’s work to keep the main thing the main thing – Jesus and His family.
  Just a side note here, as plans for our new facility continue to develop, it’s tempting to focus on style, costs, etc…and talk about it a lot. This new facility is not the church, WE are. It’s merely a tool to help us serve King Jesus. Most conversations about it should go something like this, “Isn’t it exciting what God is doing? How can we pray more wisely?”
  What are some family conversations we should be having lots of? There are many, let me just touch on a few. All of these find their heart with first loving each other, as Jesus commanded us to do, John 13:34-35.
  We must encourage each other. If you and I do not encourage one another, where else is encouragement going to take place? Each week many come in battered and bruised for a myriad of reasons. For some in our church family, this is their safe place. Look for ways to encourage others, particularly spiritually encouragement, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
  We must pray for and with each other. Nothing so thrills my heart than to see folk gathered together praying for each other. Perhaps someone shared a special burden or need. Brothers and sisters stopped right there and prayed with them. Where else can we do that? If you do that at Walmart or the Packer’s game, people will think you’re a wacko.
  We must be kind to each other. Do you look for kind things to say to others? Do you ask how things are going so you can pray for them more intelligently? Do they know you care? Do you? Do you know what burdens or blessings they have? We’re to be kind to each other, Ephesians 4:32.
  We must admonish each other. Isn’t this odd? It’s not strange at church to ask someone how work is going or how their kids are doing, even if they’ve lost weight. Yet, somehow it’s weird to ask: What is God teaching you these days? What are you learning from His Word? We need to admonish each other, Colossians 3:16.
  We must forgive each other. You’re not a Christian unless you’ve been forgiven. Each of us has been forgiven horrible crimes against God. Yet, many of the “forgiven” carry smoldering cinders of bitterness, often for years, toward other believers. We must forgive each other, Ephesians 4:32.
  How can we grow in this area? How do we start making spiritual church family conversations “normal”? It’s simple – just start. Perhaps begin sharing one on one something the Lord is teaching you or something you need prayer for, or some special blessing the Lord has given you.
  This is new, so baby steps are best. Here are some questions to consider: What’s your most important spiritual goal right now? What’s something you believe from the Bible without any doubts? What book of the Bible has had a great influence on you? If God granted you any one request, what would it be? What would you most like people to remember you for after you die? What are the biggest questions you have about your relationship with God? What’s something you’re thankful for in your life right now?
  If there is one place for God-talk, it’s when you’re with God’s family!

Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Gracechurchwi.org. Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed mine in "My Story." E-mail me at Carson@gracechurchwi.org to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fear: The Terrified Generation

“Fear that does not take you to God, will take you away from God.”

  On our recent vacation, we had an odd experience. Though this was our fourth year at a cabin in Tennessee, we’re still not familiar with the roads (think narrow country roads through mountains). As we neared southern Kentucky, thunder storms pummeled the area. Our phones began beeping with warnings of flash floods. Not only were we unfamiliar with the roads, we were off the main roads and uncertain of our location. We didn’t know where creeks or rivers were which might potentially flood. We knew there was something to be afraid of, we just didn’t know what it was.
  Fear is like that. Ours is the “terrified generation.” It seems there are more things to be afraid of than at any other point in history.
  For the past two weeks, both political parties have attempted to terrify us into NOT electing the other party’s candidate, painting dark pictures of “doom, gloom and agony.” Put a $10 spot in a jar every time you hear someone say, “This is the most important election of our lifetime,” and you’ll soon have enough for the down payment on your next car.
  A few years ago, the only flu we worried about was, well, the flu. Not today. There’s A, B and C (there are probably more letters…those are the more common ones). There’s the H1N1, H3N2v, Avian and Swine flu. If those don’t cause you to google your symptoms, there’s always Ebola, SARS and now the Zika virus, to give you something to fret about.  
  In the winter it’s Snowmageddon; in the summer it’s Heatzilla. If the economy burps, investors throw up in a panic. Eventually, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Sometimes you wish they’d just do it and get it over with. The media has kept us in a state of anxiety for several years now over “they could raise interest rates.”
  The word “possible” used to be a positive word. Not today. It’s loaded with angst. “Possible terrorist attacks…” “Possible connection between cancer and…” “Possible outbreak of…” If you hear the word “possible” it’s probably not happening right now and may never happen. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be terrified it might happen. I mean, it’s “possible.”
  Parents and children are needlessly being frightened. Kids today are watched 24/7 out of fear someone might abduct them. It’s so bad, “free range parents” (parents who let their children explore the world and learn about it unsupervised) are often ticketed and accused of child neglect.
  Listening to the media, one would think a child predator is behind each corner. Yet, children taken by a stranger or slight acquaintance represent just one-hundredth of 1% of all missing children or a total of 115 annually. There are fewer missing persons – of all ages – today than 20 years ago.
  “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” isn’t quite accurate. There’s a place for healthy fear. Fear can be a God-given warning system. It’s the fear of being killed that makes you look both ways before crossing a busy street. It’s the fear of being bitten that causes you to stay away from a rattlesnake. Healthy fear releases adrenalin, preparing you to flee or fight. It’s a good kind of fear which protects you.
  Most Christians need a healthier fear of sin and its potential to poison our souls. Too many are afraid of what we shouldn’t fear, yet are cavalier, if not brazen about that which should strike dread in our souls.
  Yet, there’s an epidemic of toxic fear which damages us, resulting in a lack of faith. It paralyzes us. It’s timeless and universal. No one is immune. Though a powerful emperor, Julius Caesar was so afraid of thunder, he hid under his bed during storms. Peter the Great, the feared Russian Czar, was so paranoid of bridges he refused to use them. Many allow irrational fear to keep them from enjoying life. Worse, toxic fear handicaps us spiritually.
  The first step in dealing with fear is to determine if it’s healthy or unhealthy. The best inoculation for unhealthy fear is God’s Word. Faith is the antidote for fear. Faith comes from immersing ourselves in Scripture. Those who suffer with unhealthy fear are rarely people of the Book.
  King David struggled with fear, usually healthy fear. He had powerful enemies plotting to kill him. David wrote one of my favorite verses, Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” As a boy, when I struggled with childish fear my Mom gave me that verse. Do you struggle with fear? The book of Psalms is powerful, spiritual medicine that you need. In Psalm 55 David shares the cure for some of our common fears.
  Are you afraid of bad people? David was afraid of the “enemy,” “the wicked” and those with a “grudge” against him. Last week a priest in France was murdered by terrorists. Churches used to be sanctuaries of safety; every church today must consider security issues unheard of a few years ago. David knew it was God who kept him safe. No one can touch us unless God allows it. Our safety is in our omnipotent Heavenly Father.
  Are you afraid of the future? David was afraid of what might happen. “Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me” (vs. 5). Most of us fear the future. As you look toward the rest of this year, are there feelings of dread? What about the next few years? Is there uneasiness in your spirit? Those feelings aren’t from God. 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear.” David’s solution is found in verse 22 of Psalm 55, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Give your fears to God so it’s no longer your “worry.”
  Are you afraid of death? David wrote, “The terrors of death have fallen upon me” (vs. 4). Christians don’t need to fear death. Paul wrote while we experience sorrow at the death of a loved one, we don’t sorrow in the same way as those with no hope. The Bible promises death, for the Christian, is a transfer, a promotion. You’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die.
  Only a fool goes through life, unprepared for something everyone knows is inevitable. “For, to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) It’s a win-win for the believer. If we live, it’s in the spiritual presence of Jesus now. If we die, it’s gain because it’s the literal presence of Jesus!
  Faith and fear can’t co-exist, so feed your faith with God’s Word and your fears will starve to death! The answer isn’t found in running from your fears, it’s found in running to the Father you can always trust! 

Looking for quality used Christian books and other types of books at prices lower than even Amazon. Check out our family's online used bookstore at resurrectedreads.com or visit our store at the Waterford Unique Antique Market at 209 North Milwaukee Street in Waterford, WI --  262.534.3500