BLOG – The Cure for Fear of Poverty, Being Duped, and Death

On Sunday, I said there are 3 main fears that keep us from feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and visiting the imprisoned as Jesus commands us to do in Matthew 25 –

  • Fear of Poverty – we’re afraid if we’re generous we’ll end up broke.
  • Fear of Being Duped – we’re afraid people will manipulate us and take advantage of our generosity.
  • Fear of Death – we’re afraid we’ll be put in dangerous situations around contagious sick people or dangerous convicts in prison.

The cure for our fears is not guilt or command, but faith, which is why we’re so often told, “Do not be afraid,” throughout the Scriptures. What will take away your fears and mine and free us to live truly generous lives?

            Jesus gave up glory in Heaven and become completely destitute, was taken advantage of and betrayed by those he tried to help, and finally was killed. He too was afraid of those things, but for the sake of save you, blessing you, and bringing the Kingdom of Heaven, was courageous and faithful through his fears. When you see him do that for you, our hearts are transformed to do the same for others. We are given courage to act in spite of our fears.

            Further, when we are faithful and obedient to bless, give, serve, feed, visit, etc. we find that Jesus is faithful and trustworthy – Jesus keeps his promise and our faith grows again, rereleasing us to serve.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – May 1-8 – Stories of Faith

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

Youth Sunday 2016 Reading Slide

Questions to Guide You:

This week, our Youth will lead us in worship. This is their church, and like God used David, Daniel, Shadrach, Mishek, and Abednego (all youth) to lead his people, he will use these to lead us. They have decided to lead us in a meditation on FAITH, through 3 stories of great faith.

  • Genesis 6-8 is one of the most famous stories in the Bible, but because of its fame, people rarely read it carefully. Read it carefully. What stands out?
  • How did Noah feel as he built the ark? What did he risk? What did he sacrifice to be faithful? How do you imagine his peers treated him during the time it took to build the ark? How did he persevere during these taunts and bullying?
  • What areas of your life will faithfulness bring ridicule from others? What things must you do or must you not do because of Jesus that other people will find stupid, foolish, or Puritanical?
  • 1 Sam 17 is another famous story. Read it carefully.
  • What does David risk? What is at stake if he loses this fight? How do his peers feel about it? Why does he feel like he must do this? Why does he have faith? What past experiences have given him skills and faith to address this giant?
  • If David loses this fight, Israel loses everything, and everyone he loves becomes a slave. Where in your does doing the right thing necessitate financial risk? When has faith required you to address an insurmountable task with God’s help? How has God prepared you for your giants?
  • We just read Dan 3 a few weeks ago. When has doing the right thing hurt your professional gain/advancement? When has doing the right thing required losing favor with others?
  • I love the youths' “Even if God doesn’t save us…” faith (vs 18). What situations do you want God to fix or rescue? Can you say, “Even if God doesn’t do what I want, he is still God and I believe he is good”?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.