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 – July 24-31 – One Church One Mission

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.

Matt 18.10-14 - Reading Plan -  July 24-31.2016 - A Beautiful Mess - One Church One Mission

Questions to Guide You:

In this series, “A Beautiful Mess”, we learn the Church is a beautiful mess full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints. We learn that the most common reasons people give up on church are the very reason church works. Jesus wasn’t surprised by any of these.

This week, we’ll hear from our Mission Team during service.

  • Prov 31 mentions “those who cannot speak for themselves” and the “poor and needy”. Who do you think that refers to in our day and time? How can we speak for them and defend their rights?
  • Isaiah 58 is a long sermon about proper religious life. Isaiah is indicting the people for doing a bunch of religious stuff but not prioritizing the poor. Is 58:10 is his summary. How can you and we better shine?
  • Try to pray 1 Thess 3:12-13 in your own words as a prayer for you and for Oakland. Why is it so important for love to increase and overflow? Who do you think “each other” and “everyone else” refers? How is this overflowing love connected to a strengthened heart?
  • Try to rewrite 2 Thess 1:11-12 as a prayer for yourself and for Oakland. What is Paul praying for the church in Thessalonica? What does it mean that God would bring to fruition our every desire for goodness and deed prompted by faith?
  • What is the eternal encouragement and good hope 2 Thess 2:16-17 mentions, and how does Jesus and God our Father personally encourage us? How has God encouraged you in every good deed and word?

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.