Without fear

It has been a while… One year I think. A year filled with fears, doubts, but also with love, grace, and power. A year filled with God.

Today, I would like to share with you verses that encourage me a lot. I just like them. They are found in Luke 1.

Zechariah, John’s father prophesied, praising the Lord. And he said,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1: 70-75

God’s will for us is that we serve Him without fear. Many times because of fear, we don’t serve God in holiness, we stop being righteous. We compromise and lie out of fear. We lie to get or keep a job, friends, respect, etc. We compromise to belong, to feel loved, not to be rejected or persecuted, etc. We sin because we are afraid of something or someone. If only we knew who is our God, if only we knew more about His sovereignty and love, then we would be faithful to Him at any cost.

We need to know him as the one who has all power, who is in control of everything, even of the number of our hair. We need to remember that nothing can happen to us if He doesn’t let it happen. And we need to remember how much He loves us. In Christ, God has shown His power and His love. Christ died because of God’s love and resurrected through His power. God sent His son so that no fear might prevent us to glorify Him.

I pray we will know God more and deeper and trust Him fully to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness.

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”” Daniel 4: 34-35

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It is our privilege

But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:22 (GNT)

Being slave is generally a curse, but being slave of God is a blessing, a gain.
When it is hard, when we are looking for reasons to keep fighting, not just to keep going to church services or have quiet times in the morning, but to be fully dedicated to God, we need to remember that it is our gain.
Living for Jesus, dying for His name, denying ourselves, carrying our crosses, all of these are our gain.
The Holy Spirit through Paul said it this way: “For you have been given the privilege of serving Christ, not only by believing in Him, but also by suffering for Him.” Philippians 1:29 (GNT)
We are unworthy of suffering for Christ. Our best gift, our greatest efforts in His are a privilege. He grants us to serve Him, to be devoted to Him. And He paid for this privilege on the cross.
So next time you struggle with serving in His name, remember: it is a gain.

And if…

Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John: 2:6

And if I really walked in the same way Jesus walked?

Then all who labor and are heavy laden would come to me to have rest. Matthew 11:29

Then I would never quarrel nor cry aloud,

And would never break those who are weak. Matthew 12: 19-20

I would be always serving and never be served. Mark 10:45

I would look beyond appearances. Luke 21: 1-4

My food would be to do the will of God and I would declare the gospel even when I am tired. John 4: 6-26; 34

I would help people who are not asking for my help. John 4: 2-9

I would not receive my glory from people. John 5: 41

I would look at God to meet the needs that seem too big. John 6: 1-11

I would always seek God’s glory and would always be true. John 7: 18

I would give mercy where condemnation seems to be the right thing to do. John 8: 2-11

I would be a good shepherd and fight for God’s children when Satan plays with them. I would not turn my back to them because of their sins. John 10: 10-11

I would not always do want people ask me to do for them, but out of love will do it the way God wants. John 5-6

I would openly weep. John 11:35

I would humble myself and always choose a donkey instead of a horse. John 12: 14-15

I would wash the feet of and eat with those who betray me. John 13: 1-30

I would pray for those I love. John 17

I would protect my brothers. John 18: 7-9

I would not reject those who deny me. Mark 16: 6-7; Luke 24:34

As I am not always walking like Him, thirsty and hungry for His righteousness (Matthew 5:6), I count on His mercy and press on toward the goal, toward Him (Philippians 3:14).

A single with a mission

Today let’s talk about heroes. My favourite is Batman. Why him? Why not Superman, Spiderman  and all the others who send their time saving the world? Because he is normal, simply human. A human with a mission but still a human. No super power, no supernatural protection. He is human. I fell in love with him years ago. I was a teenager. Since then, I have been in love. And it feels like i will never stop loving him. Why? Because his mission never changes. After years, he still wants to protect and save his fellow-citizens. I love Batman. In the same way, I love Anna. She is my heroine.
Why? she was a blessed single. A single with a mission.
Luke 2: 36-38 says she was very old. She was eighty-four. I can’t even imagine being that old. She was old and she had been single for most of her life. She had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage.  As in those days, women used to get married young, let’s say she got married at sixteen. So she was a widow at twenty-three. I can imagine her loneliness, her despair. It seems that she didn’t have children. At least, I choose to believe that she had no children. She could have been bitter, sad and depressed. She could have cursed the Lord. She could have done a lot things. But she chose to serve the Lord. In her despair, she chose the best. She was not a great leader, running everywhere and showing people how important and busy she was. She was a servant. She served her God and his people by praying and fasting. She was a single and she decided to use her time praying and fasting. She worshipped night and day.
My question to you, my question to me is: what are we doing with our time? What are we doing with our nights and your days? Are we using our skills to serve the Lord? Are we using our gifts to worship Him? If you don’t know what to do, pray… and fast. Pray for the Church, pray for other single women. Pray for your neighbours, pray for all those who don’t know God. Pray and fast. Pray for yourself. Pray to be content and grateful. Pray to serve Him who made you. Pray to find  a husband. And above all, pray to be a single after his own heart. Just pray and worship Him.
Prayers change hearts. Prayers change history. Prayers draw us close to God. Prayers make us know God and His ways. Anna knew. She knew what all the leaders of her time didn’t notice. She knew. She knew Jesus was the Messiah.  She knew He came to redeem his people. How did she know? She never gave up. She has a mission: being close to her Maker, worshipping Him.
She was a single with a mission. She is my heroine for ” She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.
May the Lord fill your heart with prayers this week.