SO DO NOT BE AFRAID… (Outline)
July 1, 2007 -
PENTECOST 5 -
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INTRO: Our greatest comfort in any fear that we might face is knowing that someone really cares. At times there can be nothing more frightening than loneliness. Whenever someone who cares for us this can make all the difference in the world. Today’s text is a reminder of just how much God cares for us. God’s promise of care and concern for his people extends from the pages of the Old Testament into the New Testament and even right into our own lives today. "But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ’Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine’"(ISAIAH 43:1). We take our theme today from the words of Jesus in our text:
SO DO NOT BE AFRAID…
I. We are valuable in God’s eyes; and,
II. We share God’s valuable message.
I. WE ARE VALUABLE IN GOD’S EYES
A. In the verses before our text Jesus sends out the twelve apostles. He warns of opposition, persecution.
1. Jesus encourages them in verse 26. God will make all things known to his disciples.
2. After all, Jesus’ disciples are far more valuable than man’s plans to hurt or harm them.
B. Jesus now uses examples from daily life to further encourage his disciples to not be afraid.
1. Verse 29. Jesus watches over the insignificant sparrow with infinite.
2. Jesus even knows the numbers of the hairs on their heads, verse 30.
3. Since Jesus knows all these things they have nothing to fear. They are far more valuable, v. 31.
C. Jesus provides his disciples with another encouraging solution to combat their fears.
1. Verse 28a. Men, no matter how wicked, cannot kill the soul. They can only harm the body.
2. The disciples are to have fear, really respect and honor for God, the Author of life, verse 28b.
D. Have you ever felt all alone? Have you ever felt lonely? This can easily happen even though sur-rounded by family and friends and many others who care for you. Satan loves to us have doubt the love that God has for each and every one of us. Satan loves to make us feel lonely and afraid. Our gracious God and loving Father always we reminds us that we are valuable. Since we are valuable and important in God’s eyes, he will not leave us nor forsake. "God has said, ’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’"(HEBREWS 13:5b, 6). At times we may turn away from God. God never ever turns away from us.
E. It is true that in this life we may be persecuted. In this life we may face severe difficulties, hardships, heartaches, and even sorrows. Sometimes the world around us may even heap scorn and abuse upon us for the faith that is ours by grace. But rest assured that in the end, it is eternity that matters. Rest assured that our loving Father has everything in control for our eternal welfare. "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades"(REVELATION 1:17b, 18). We fear, love, and respect God above all things!
F. Today we rejoice and are eternally grateful for God’s free gift of grace that comes to each and everyone of us through his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our eternal destination is so very, very important that God does not and cannot entrust our eternity to anyone but his Son. Simply put, we cannot save our-selves. We cannot pay the price for our salvation. We cannot earn heaven. We cannot pray our way into heaven or believe “hard enough”. Rather, we are simply, freely saved by God’s grace – his undeserved love for us undeserving Christians. "The Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father"(GALATIANS 1:4). We praise God!
No wonder Jesus boldly declares:
SO DO NOT BE AFRAID….
We are valuable in God’s eyes; and,
II. WE SHARE GOD’S VALUABLE MESSAGE
A. The disciples gave up everything to follow this Jesus – a vagabond, a homeless person, and rejected.
1. Verse 24 reminded the disciples that they were not above their teacher.
2. Instead to be like Jesus would be their highest calling in life, verse 25a.
B. Jesus knew the importance of the little time they had together to instruct his disciples everything.
1. The disciples would learn from Jesus, from life, and from the Holy Spirit, verse 26b.
2. What the disciples would learn from Jesus in private was to be declared openly, verse 27.
C. Not everyone would be willing to hear or follow Jesus’ message. Verse 25b tells why.
1. Those that belong to Satan (Beelzebub) will reject Jesus and then also be rejected, verse 33.
2. For believers, for Jesus’ followers, for Christians great blessings await – eternally, verse 32.
D. There are many in our world today who try to discover the key to success. Others try to discover the keys to a healthy and long life. Always man is looking for ways to improve. You and I and every believer have been given the keys to long life and success. Heaven is our home. The key that opens that door once and for all and for ever is in the word of God that says: “hear and believe”. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life"(JOHN 5:24). This is God’s valuable message that is ours to share.
E. We live in a very selfish and self-absorbed society. We are no better than many around us. How often we think “ME first” with little or even no regard for our fellow man. Yet, stop and consider what Jesus did for us that we might have heaven. Consider what Jesus did for his enemies that they might gain access to eternity. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection changed us and our lives here on earth for ever. "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again"(2 CORINTHIANS 5:15). Christ became poor so that we might become rich.
F. We also live in a time of fear. The media loves to exploit the fears that our modern age seems to offer at every turn. Therefore God’s choice is as important as ever in our lives. God’s choice is important not just for ourselves but especially for those sitting in the darkness of fear all around us. We are reminded of God’s grace – a Father’s undeserved love for his disobedient children. By no choice of our own and by no doing of our own God has saved us. "The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard"(ACTS 22:14,15). So do not be afraid. Share God’s valuable message with others.
CONC.: Christians have a simple truth of comfort in any and every situation. Boldly Jesus declares to each and everyone of us: “So do not be afraid…” God’s word reminds us again and again and over and over that we really have no reason to be lonely, frightened, or terrified. God is with us. The fact is: you are valuable in God’s eyes. You are so valuable in God’s eyes that he sent his Son to die in our place. God sent his Son to pay that price that we could not afford. This is God’s valuable message that we know, believe, confess, and live. This is God’s valuable message that we are privileged to share with the many who still feel lonely, frightened, and terrified. "The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?"(PSALM 27:1). Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer
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PENTECOST 5 readings:
ZECHARIAH 13:7-9; GALATIANS 3:23-29; LUKE 9:18-24