No Fears at Christmas Time
Text: Matt 1:20; Luke 1:13, 30; Luke 2:10
Introduction
Satan's modus operandi is fear. To manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow-his arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He doesn't want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands. Max L. Lucado (1955- )

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears of grade school
children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in a dark room, 3) High places, 4) Strangers, 5) Loud noises. Today,
kids are afraid of the following: 1) Divorce, 2) Nuclear war, 3) Cancer, 4) Pollution, 5) Being mugged.
Back to the Bible Today, Summer, 1990, p. 5

Have you ever been afraid? I am sure you have been on many occasions. What brought you Peace.? Peace has come to me:

From the testimony of one who has been through the same experience.

From the Bible.

And from an inner peace of the Lord's voice.
 
 

1.    No Fear to a . . Determined Old Man. Luke 1:13 
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. (NAS)

Illustration   
Several years ago there was a well-known television circus show that developed a Bengal tiger act. Like the rest of the show, it was done "live" before a large audience. One evening, the tiger trainer went into the cage with several tigers to do a routine performance. The door was locked behind him. The spotlights highlighted the cage, the television cameras moved in close, and the audience watched in suspense as the trainer skilfully put the tigers through their paces. In the middle of the performance, the worst possible fate befell the act: the lights went out! For twenty or thirty long, dark seconds the trainer was locked in with the tigers. In the darkness they could see him, but he could not see them. A whip and a small kitchen chair seemed meager protection under the circumstances, but he survived, and when the lights came on, he calmly finished the performance. In an interview afterward, he was asked how he felt knowing that the tigers could see him but that he could not see them. He first admitted the chilling fear of the situation, but pointed out that the tigers did not know that he could not see them. He said, "I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them until the lights came on. And they never knew I could not see them as well as they could see me."

This experience gives us a vivid parable of human life. At some point in our lives, all of us face the terrifying task of fighting tigers in the dark. Some face it constantly. Many people cope daily with internal problems that are capable of destroying them. They cannot visualize their problems or understand them, but their problems seem to have them zeroed in.    
 

Application

Zacharias was calmed by the assurance the angel gave to him.
 
 
 

2.    No Fear to a . . Dedicated Young Woman. Luke 1:30 (NAS) 
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

Illustration
5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and
get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn't want to go in alone. "It's dark in there and I'm scared." She
asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It's OK--Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked
hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when
all at once an idea came, and he said: "Jesus, if you're in there, would you hand me that can of tomato
soup?"

Application

Mary knew she had found favour with God and that gave her peace.
 
 
 

3.    No Fear to a . . Disappointed Young Man. Matt 1:20 
20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (NAS)

Illustration  
A young soldier who was fighting in Italy during World War II jumped into a foxhole just ahead of some bullets. He immediately tried to deepen the hole for more protection and was frantically scraping away the dirt with his hands. He unearthed something metal and brought up a silver crucifix, left by a former resident of the foxhole. A moment later another leaping figure landed beside him as the shells screamed overhead. When the soldier got a chance to look, he saw that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the crucifix, the soldier gasped, "Am I glad to see you! How do you work this thing?"

Application

Joseph Knew Mary had found favour with God and that gave him peace.
 
 

 
4.    No Fear to Some . . Dedicated Servants. Luke 2:10
10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; (NAS)
 

Illustration   
A father said that his little girl, who was much afraid of the dark, slept at night beside his bed. Often he had been wakened during the night by a little voice saying, "PaPa, it's dark! It's dark, PaPa! Take Nellie's hand."

And when, in answer, he had taken hold of the lifted hand, she sank quietly to sleep, all her fears being taken away. The remembrance of the pleading voice had often helped him to remember, in the midst of troubles and distress, that he, too, had a Father he could lift his hand and say, "Father, it is dark! Take my hand."

Application

These shepherds may have been keeping sheep specifically for the temple sacrifice.    The Angel erased their fear with good news.
 
 
 
 

Conclusion

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.  In either case the glory goes to praise our Lord.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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