Summary: Now, we are wrapping up our series on fear. Three weeks ago we looked at Zechariah, a saintly old man who had lived his life with unanswered prayers. Two weeks ago, we looked at Mary. The angel told her not to be afraid of God changing her plans for her l
FEAR OF GOD
TEXT: Luke 2:8-20
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
I found a website called Funny Historical Accounts. It tells the unfortunate story of 24-year-old Danny Simpson of Ottawa, Ontario. In 1990 Mr. Simpson was given six years of imprisonment for robbing a bank of $6,000. In the robbery, he used an old Colt .45 pistol. He was arrested and the gun was impounded by the police.
What’s funny is that the police recognized the gun as an extremely rare collectors’ item. It was made under license by the Ross Rifle Company in Quebec City during WW1, one of only 100 Colt .45’s ever made there. The gun was worth between $100,000. Mr. Simpson could have walked into any gun shop and sold the pistol for at least ten times as much, and likely much more, from his raid without breaking the law.
If he had just known what he carried in his hand, he wouldn’t have robbed the bank. In other words, Danny already had what he needed.
After reading this, I thought, “I wonder if that’s how we are, too.” I wonder if most of us, any of us, have any clue to what we are entitled to. I wonder if the majority of us live way below God’s abundance for us. I wonder how differently we would live if we were aware of God’s presence in our lives. Let me use the story of the shepherds to explain. Let’s read Luke 2:8-20 again.
Now, we are wrapping up our series on fear. Three weeks ago we looked at Zechariah, a saintly old man who had lived his life with unanswered prayers. He saw an angel, and the good news was that God had heard his prayers. So don’t be afraid of your doubts and struggles.