Friday, March 25, 2011

March 26, 2011

"So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home." Matthew 9:7-8

Not only is this a great story from the life and ministry of Jesus, it is very insightful as how to He wants you to deal with the fear of disappointing God.

I have shown you how He has blessed you with friends. Hopefully you have friends like this fellow's friends who carried him to Jesus. Not only did they bring him to the proximity of Jesus, they tore the roof open to get him into the PRESENCE of Jesus! Wow! Friends like that can help relieve your fears!

But, in addition to these fantastic friends, this man benefited from the grace of Jesus, Who forgave him of his sins! Forgiveness is a strong weapon against fear! It is especially powerful again this fear that you have sinned beyond God's willingness to forgive. I shared a number of verses assuring you of His promises to extend grace to cover your sins. His grace is greater than your sins!

So, friends and forgiveness are antidotes to your fears. BUT, that is not all!

This encounter in His home town of Nazareth also shows a third resource for overcoming fear - faith! Faith is the anti-fear! Jesus called faith out of this man! Having already forgiven him of his sins, which certainly should have boosted his faith, Jesus commanded the paralytic to get up and go! "Jump to your feet, take your bed, and go home!" At that moment, this guy have a decision to make. Would he obey Jesus in faith or would he hesitate for fear of looking foolish? Faith or fear, which would it be for this man?

We know he chose faith. When Jesus commanded, "Get up and go!" the man jumped to his feet! His faith allowed Jesus to heal him and he carried his mat home! For the first time in years - he was walking! No doubt he hurried home to show his family that he was a new man! Imagine that glad reunion!

Doubt and fear can paralyze you! Fear from past foul-ups can paralyze you with guilt and erode your faith so you feel you can't be as good as you should be, or as good as you want to be, OR as good as God expects you to be. Fear of future foul ups can also paralyze you from venturing too far into the realm of faith.

Friends, forgiveness and faith! What a powerful combo for conquering fears that may be plaguing you with guilt or paralyzing you from doing the good a gracious God is calling you to go!

Have you disappointed God recently? Did you do something you really regret? Are you agonizing over a past moral failure that you fear has pushed you beyond the boundaries of forgiveness?

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven!"

Enjoy your godly friends! Embrace His forgiveness! Escape your fear by exercising your faith!