Fear Not

Christmas Reflections
Daily Devotional #6 - “Fear Not”

Preparing the Soil (Introduction): “Merry Christmas!” “Jesus is the reason for the season!” These phrases express a way of life in which Jesus is always in season. He breathes life, love and hope into this world through righteousness, grace and peace. We say “keep Christ in Christmas,” but we also represent Christ in us. We worship Christ in heaven, celebrate the Holy Spirit living in us and look forward to eternity in the Kingdom of God. The holy days bring us opportunities to share those hopes with others. The heart of Christmas is rejoicing at the birth of a Savior as foretold in the Old Testament and lived out in the New Testament. Linus quotes Luke 2:8-14, KJV to retell the story every year in A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special. It’s said that when Peanuts author Charles Shultz was told that the Gospel just wouldn’t work in a cartoon, he responded, “If we don’t do it, who will?” You and I can share the Gospel, too. God initiates; we respond; and, when we’re in fellowship with Him, He’ll lead us to connect with others.

Planting and Watering the Seed (Growth): Rest from fear is a core principle of the Christmas chronicle. An angel told Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, not to be afraid, for his prayer had been heard (Luke 1:13). The angel Gabriel told Mary not be afraid, she had found favor with God (Luke 1:30). An angel told Joseph not to be afraid to marry Mary (Matthew 1:20). An angel first appeared to the shepherds in the fields and told them not to be afraid, for he brought good news of great joy for all people (Luke 2:10). Comfort from fear is also central to the Resurrection story. When the women went to the tomb, an angel told them not to be afraid, Jesus was risen from the dead. And Jesus met them afterwards and told them not to be afraid (Matthew 28:6-10). Jesus tells us all now not to let our hearts be troubled or be afraid (John 14:27). The angels exclaimed peace to men, and Christ says peace be with you. Know Jesus, know peace; no Jesus, no peace. Peace is the foundation of our mission as ministers of the Gospel. Jesus gave us peace and sent us out to minister in His name (John 20:21). We must share Him with the world.

Harvesting the Crop (Action/Response): Lost people are searching for meaning and purpose. They long for a Godly peace in their hearts. They do not understand yet, but you and I do. We know the truth and where the answers are. In His mercy, God doesn’t give us what we deserve, but instead, in grace, He gives us what we don’t deserve. Remember the awesome gift of salvation you’ve received. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:8) Now use that gift and your time, talents, passion and possessions to share God’s grace with others (1 Peter 4:10). Love God; love people. Invest the time to meet other people and share the Gospel or invite them to church or to your small group. If you’re not involved with other Christians outside service, join a small group. There is to be a sense of urgency on our part. We don’t know if the next time we meet will be the last time we ever see each other. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:13-15), but we do know that our God is good! Let’s carry that into the New Year.

Cultivating (Additional Reading): Psalm 19:1-14; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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All Bible references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.