FEARANOIA MESSAGE SERIES DEVOTIONALS

FEAR NO EVIL: Week 2 - FEARANOIA

Thursday, November 16, 2017
 
                               “The End of Evil” - Pastor Jim Gerlach



Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  Revelation 20:10 


Evil has an end. Satan knows that he is doomed for destruction. His fate was sealed the moment he rebelled against his creator. Jesus, in His death on the cross and in His resurrection from the grave, defeated death, the devil, and his demons in dramatic fashion. Paul says it this way,  "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of themtriumphing over them by the cross." Col. 2:15

 
So if Satan knows he can’t win his war against heaven, why doesn’t he just throw in the towel? It’s generally believed that the Nazi’s in WWII knew by the summer of 1944 that they were going to lose the war. Yet from his bunker, Hitler was sending his soldiers to their deaths and shipping civilians to death camps even as the Allies were entering Berlin.
 
Satan is a dangerous, but defeated foe. As believers, we need to remind ourselves of our future and his future – where he will be, and where believers will be forever together. Thank God today for the victory you have over death and the devil because of the finished work of Christ on the cross.   

FEAR NO EVIL: Week 2 - FEARANOIA

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
 
“Pushing Back Darkness” - Pastor Jim Gerlach

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
 
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  I Peter 5:8


 
Satan is not equal and opposite of God. He is a created being. He’s a defeated foe who will one day be vanquished forever, but until that day, we can’t afford to underestimate his power or dismiss him too quickly. Satan is the Accuser, the Father of Lies and ultimate murderer -- mobilizing evil and weaponizing fear in order to wage war against the Kingdom of God. And his greatest power is his ability to deceive and frighten us. He has battled against believers for millennia and each new generation seems to fall for the same old lies.  
 
So how do we resist the devil and be ready for his lies and deceptions? Paul instructs us to wrap ourselves in spiritual truth. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Eph. 6:11)  The truth of God (belt) protects our core, the righteousness of God (breastplate) guards our hearts, our faith in God shields us from sudden attacks (fiery arrows) and salvation by grace is like a helmet that protects our minds from pride or fear. Finally, the Holy Spirit is like a sword where we pray in power and go on the offense.
 
God’s Word makes it perfectly clear:

  • Rev. 12:10, They triumphed over him (Satan the Accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony...
  • Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  • James 4:7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 
  • I John 4:4 ...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Only in Christ do we have the power to push back the darkness – and fear no evil.  

FEAR NO EVIL: Week 2 - FEARANOIA

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

 "The Father of Lies" - Pastor Jim Gerlach

 

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8:44
 

Long before there was rebellion in the Garden of Eden - there was rebellion against God in heaven. Satan, called Lucifer, the highest of the angels created by God, became filled with pride and said in his heart - “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God;"  (Isaiah 14:13) 
 
When Satan is expelled from heaven,  he leads 1/3 of the angels to wage war against God. He’s doomed from the beginning, but none the less becomes the ruler of this world. And since the beginning of time, he’s been organizing, arranging and marshalling evil to oppose the Kingdom of God.
 
That’s why Paul urges us in Ephesians 6 to be strong in the Lord and be ready to resist the devil and all his schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  (Ephesians 6:12) While most people give Satan more credit than he deserves, he is a very dangerous foe. He is the father of lies and his deceptions have tricked, trapped and enslaved billions of people.
 
So how do we resist the devil and be ready for his lies and deceptions? We’ll pick up that theme in tomorrow’s devotion.

Week 2 -  FEAR NO EVIL

Monday, November 13, 2017
 
We’re All Sheep - Pastor Jim Gerlach



 
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

 
Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for the sheep. That not only reveals the nature of Jesus, but our nature as well. We are more like sheep than lions. I’d rather be called a lion than a sheep. Lions are bold and powerful – sheep are fearful and skittish. Sheep go astray. (Is. 53:6) And they are constantly in fear of evil, because they aren’t strong enough to overcome evil on their own. Sheep need a shepherd.
 
Psalm 23 tells us that we have a perfect Shepherd. He provides for the needs of our body (food, rest and protection) and our souls (peace, security and mercy). And then at the dark places of life – the deepest valleys where evil could lurk undetected – He walks beside us. He carries a really big club (rod and staff) ready to beat back and eventually destroy the forces of darkness. And for those of us who have come to faith in Christ, that club in shaped in the form of the cross.
 
“I will fear no evil” is a statement of faith, based on the work and nature of Jesus. He’s the perfect shepherd who defeats our enemies and protects our souls.
 
I invite you to be in worship this Sunday. We’ll look at what the Bible says about one of the most common of all fears - the fear of failure.

Week 1 – OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE FUTURE

Friday, November 10, 2017
  
Remembering God’s Faithfulness - Pastor Jim Gerlach



 

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.  Psalm 77:12

 

When you look forward into your future and feel fear, the first spiritual step is to look back. Over thirty times in the Old Testament the people of God are told, “Remember your past. Remember how God has been faithful.” Whenever God did something great, the people were instructed to build an altar of monument to God’s faithfulness. It was a visible reminder of the past. It was a way to teach the next generation the reason they can have confidence in the future.
 
We all need records & reminders about the past so we can face the future with confidence. God has been faithful to you in the past, so you can trust Him with your future. We are to recount what God has done, then we are to thank Him for His goodness. Remembering means we are to tell others the story of what happened. This brings glory to God and helps remind us of what God can and will do.
 
All believers will fight a life-long battle with spiritual amnesia. We are so prone to forget God’s blessings to us. But remember, fear comes from forgetting God’s faithfulness. So take some time to recount God’s goodness to you. Write it down. Thank Him for His mercy. Tell someone what God has done. And you’ll find fear falling away.

Week 1 – OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE FUTURE

Thursday, November 9, 2017


 

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!  Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)


There are no quick fixes for overcoming fear of the future. Some people use unhealthy ways to mask or numb their fears – binge eating, drinking and “Netflicking” their way to “peace.”  Others find that healthy alternatives like exercise, hobbies and relaxation techniques help to reduce their stress level. These practices can be helpful, but they don’t get at the root issue of fear and are temporary at best.
 
There are no easy quick answers to FEARANOIA. The Bible speaks to fear as an ongoing war we constantly wage - not a quick battle we easily win. Jesus never promised us a trouble free life. He knows that every generation, every culture will have anxiety about what lies ahead.  Instead of coping strategies that don’t really address the root of our fear, the Bible draws us toward a relationship with Jesus. Because overcoming the fear of the future is ultimately about trust. Overcoming fear is about learning to trust God more.   
 
So the Bible reveals truth you can’t find any other place. It gives us instruction to guide our path. It provides promises that secure our future.  Ultimately it points to Jesus, the lover of our souls and Warrior against our fears.
 
I invite you to be in worship this Sunday. My message is entitled, ‘Fear No Evil.” We’ll look at what the Bible says about the origin and our response to evil in this world.

Week 1 – OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE FUTURE

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

 

 


There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.   I John 4:18


 

It is hard to fathom the depth of evil that is capable of murdering 26 innocent men, women and children. We are all still in shock over what occurred this past Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. It was the worst act of violence in a house of worship in the history of our nation. And our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors of the shooting and all the families who were affected by this senseless slaughter. Their pain and anguish is incomprehensible.  

 

In addition to his anger directed toward his ex in-laws, the twisted mind of the murderer was filled with intense hatred and resentment against Christians. And there are two things we can’t allow to happen out of this heinous attack. First, we cannot let fear or resentment invade our lives because of what happened in Sutherland Springs. Our mission is too important and our mandate is too clear for us pull back in our worship or our witness for Jesus. Fear paralyzes and when it takes hold of a believer spiritual growth stops.

 


Secondly, we can't pull back from reaching out to strangers – to people we don’t know but who we know matter to God. Perfect love drives out fear. It causes us to move outside ourselves toward – not away from others.  


I invite you to be in worship this Sunday as my message is entitled, ‘Fear No Evil.” We’ll look at what the Bible says about the origin and our response to evil in this world.


Week 1 – OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE FUTURE

Monday, November 6, 2017



Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1


 

One of the greatest fears we have of the future – is the fear of death. And all of us, and poor, kings and commoners, will face death only with what’s in our hearts and our souls.



Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England during WWII, was tough leader who led his nation through the worst days of its’ history. His motto was  – “In war—resolution. In defeat—defiance.” He was fond of saying...“Never give up – never, never, never give up.” He had ad a running feud with Lady Astor and always had a comeback to her. One time she said to him: “Mr. Churchill, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in my coffee.” Churchill replied: “Lady Astor, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.” But one day Churchill came to his last day.  Years earlier he had planned his funeral knowing this day would come. At very end of the service after all the words spoken, from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral—a bugler played taps. The day is done. The night has come. Silence. Everyone thought about how his life was done. And everyone thought that was the end. But the service wasn’t over. There was one more song. Another bugler began to play Reveille. Time to wake up – the song of a new day. Why? Because Jesus Christ said: "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”

 

Your future will have surprises, but death need not be one of them. For in Christ death is not the end, but the beginning.