Oct 11th Fear Less (Love, 2 Peter 1:5-9 Study cont.)

love-tdl John 4:18  NIV 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.

 Zombies, ghosts, goblins, chainsaws, spiders, bats, snakes, werewolves, clowns, cemeteries, creepy- crawlies in ever increasing darkness, skeletal fingers out from nowhere, reaching for your shoulder. Turn around if you dare. Cold, chilling sensations grips you paralyzing your every movement. You scream in horror, as its looming closeness overtakes and overpowers you. Wake up! It’s just a nightmare or is it? Vincent Price’s haunting chilling laugh comes in as a chained chamber door closes in locking echoing sound. Whew it’s over, catch a breath, pick up the phonograph needle, put down at vinyl’s beginning. Replay! “Wellllcome!” Oh how I loved that audio Hallloween storybook album as a child. How I begged my mother to keep the bathroom light on for 2 weeks. I tell ya Michael Jackson had the right guy at the end of his Thriller song.

Oct 31st is Halloween (popularized in America around 1920s & 30s) a celebration also named Allhalloween/All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve. It starts the beginning of a 3 day observance of Allhallowtide that remembers the faithfully departed. From martyrs to saints, many of today’s religions still practice this tradition. Following Halloween is All Hallows Day/All Saints’ Day Nov 1 then All Souls’ Day Nov 2. Whether you celebrate or not, believe it is of Christian, Celtic, Pagan origins or not—Halloween is a time many reflect on the concept of death which can be frightening.

Okay I’ll admit (somewhat to my shame) that I enjoy the occasional thriller, psychological and flat-out scary movie. Jaws, Omen, Abby, The Exorcist, Psycho, The Birds, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Dracula/Blacula, Frankenstein, It, Jigsaw, Final Destination, Slasher you name it.  It baffles me how those characters don’t know not to go there, to do that thing that they shouldn’t and basically act unwisely. It’s straight up stupid. Don’t they hear me advising them through the TV, Netflix or at the movies (sorry my fellow patrons). Don’t they listen to the advice of their buddies, don’t they listen to their own inner voice that says GET OUT! Nope, in ignorance and sheer pride..(in Beethoven’s 5th symphony) dun dun dun dunnnn…just like I tried to warn them…they get it.  Blood and body parts splat everywhere. OH! It’s the end for them and most times it’s by their own fault!

In spiritual perspective, DON’T WE DO THE SAME THING?! We know we shouldn’t go to that place, and we shouldn’t do that activity and we do it anyway. For example: Getting drunk, getting high, being promiscuous, etc. We may end up in dark places and dangerous positions more than planned and less than desired (such as the hospital, the jail cell, the grave).  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had a real life horror story that was recently televised from Congress. In front of millions of viewers she shared her very traumatic, personal experience caused by inebriated, sexually assaulting youths looking to have a good time.  She stated, ” The details about that night…are ones I’ll never forget.” At the very core guilt, shame, post traumatic stress disorders and bottomline pain can haunt us up to a  lifetime. And hurt a person, not just one person but everyone involved with them -by perpetuating and manifesting itself for a long time in various aspects.

In negative consequence, some cry out to God to come rescue.  Perhaps even bargain with Him to save our lives with promises of being good, changing our lives and never going back again. Only.. to do evil again and again.  Firstly because we are inevitably sinful and secondly nearsighted and blind- forgetting its Jesus whose blood saves us. Prov 26.11 Thirdly we are prideful, treating the gift of Grace as trash and our garbage as God. Heb 10:25. This is the scenario for the struggling Christian.  People saved through the waters of baptism and the profession of faith in Christ being Lord.  But what about those who are not saved?  For the non-Christian there is absolutely zero hope.  They face a dreadful end to come without faith, hope or love. Heb 10:31.  What?  See no one should expect to not know God their whole life and at the end suddenly have Him open the doors to His place in paradise.  He won’t know you! Would you let in a complete stranger to your home to live? Matt 7:23. The future scenario for people not in the Book of Life is eternal and ultimate damnation, where Satan and his demons provide no exit.  No Jesus.

Many Youtube videos of people having died and come back to tell the story of heaven or hell puts a healthy fear in me.  A fear that is healthy is respecting God and obeying His very word as the only way to salvation.  John 12:48. We can’t afford to get this thing wrong! We got to tell everybody! The way to Jesus is this way! John 14.6.  Our love needs to be even greater than our fear.  Love and Fear of God are both necessary as we navigate our salvation and persuade others to be saved.  As we are becoming perfected and driven in love, we will fear less and become fearless (2 Tim 1:7) Additionally we will become more confident, strong and courageous as we trust in Him. Heb 4:16,

Praise God for Jesus that took death on his body for us to have life! That is our happy ending-salvation and eternal life with all the saints in heaven.  At home with Jesus, where there’s no more death, mourning or pain Rev 21:4.  Its better than the most beautiful dream.  Now you can turn around sister let your heart be in relief.  That hand on your shoulder is stalwartly warm, glowing of guiding light, profusely merciful, brimming with love. Thank God it’s the Lord!

Concern (C): Sister what scares you even to the point of death?  List your every fear. Bills, disease, kids safety, parents well being, flying, being good enough to get to heaven, so forth.  God knows what terrifies you, concede it.  Then allow His Love to bolster you.

Encouragement (E): Wipe out every worry and tear up every terror in the name of Jesus who cares for you.  1 Pet 5.7 Seek the kingdom and do what is right Jesus will suffice for the rest. 1 Pet 3:6 The Word says..You are her daughters (Sarah) if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Act (A):  Face your fears. Fix eyes on your relationship with God. And move Forward singing a Psalm about God’s love  that lives Forever! The night before Christ died he sang the Hallel, Psalms 113-118 it prepared him to face his future.  His future included death of the body but focused on the everlasting life of the spirit! I love to read, sing, memorize Psalm 23. Envision relaxing within the embraces of my Lord who is always with me.

Psalm 23. A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
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.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

For further study:

https://www.businessinsider.com/brain-sexual-assault-trauma-christine-blasey-ford-brett-kavanaugh-2018-9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7FkyF4ux70

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vj0qKthCgg **Former atheist college professor has death experience** 

https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/craig-blomberg/the-threefold-antidote-to-timidity.html

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