Monday, August 26, 2013

Sermon Aug. 10-11, 2013

Title: Christ removes all fear through trust in Him!
Text: Luke 12:22-34

32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin. Once, as he censured Stalin in a public meeting, Khrushchev was interrupted by a shout from a heckler in the audience. "You were one of Stalin's colleagues. Why didn't you stop him?""Who said that?" roared Khrushchev. An agonizing silence followed as nobody in the room dared move a muscle. Then Khrushchev replied quietly, "Now you know why."

Today in the Word, July 13, 1993.

We have all had to deal with fear in our life, some real and some imagined but we can all have joy and be comforted that:

Christ removes all fear through trust in Him!

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

Sounds good! If you are well fed and clothed you have little for the devil to use to torment and bring anxiety over. As Jesus talks to His disciples in particular the bigger picture of His warning is applied to all people generally.

The examples that Jesus give are common to our everyday lives.

24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!


The week of VBS I built a bird feeder. My wife’s friend Laurie had her husband make this for her out of two pressure treated 4x4. The design is simple and uses a 10” lag screw drilled through 4x4s cut at 4 foot lengths crossed at the center and set a lot the vertical 8’ 4x4 that is placed into a post holder spike that keeps the whole thing vertical. It’s a simple design that I copied and constructed in my backyard allowing 4-6 feeders to draw and large number and variety of birds from Chickadees, to Blue Jays and Hummingbirds to feed. We even had a Wood Pecker.

I bought a variety of seed and suet cakes and as things got depleted I would rush to get the feeders filled again … thinking that if I didn’t get them filled that the birds might go hungry …

The reality of these birds being fed by me is nothing more than a convenience that God is using to allow me to enjoy these creatures of His creation. The birds are fed by God’s design whether from food provided by my feeder or the natural food that they find in their habitat as they fly from place to place.

 Jesus reminds the disciples and you as well when He says:

25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?


The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety!
George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon's generals, suddenly appeared with 18,000 soldiers before an Austrian town which had no means of defending itself. The town council met certain that capitulation was the only answer. The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter, and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God's hands. They followed his advice. The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp, and before the bells had ceased ringing, vanished.

Source Unknown.

Christ removes all fear through trust in Him!

You fear as I do it is a natural part of who we are as sinners. Why do we concern ourselves with that which we cannot control? For many, when young, it involves boyfriends, girlfriends and marriage. Why not me, why not now, does God not hear my prayers? Anxiety, worry, concern and sadness all come into your thoughts day and night and you let these thoughts, at times, suck the joy out of our daily existence. Especially when friends and family seem to have all these things fall right in place.

Lord! Don’t you care?  This might be the common plea, out of frustration and worry. Always the bridesmaid … but never the bride, or so she thought.

Adrianne Dorr who is managing editor of the Lutheran Witness thought so too. In her late 20’s, she began doubting if marriage would be for her. Or as she laments:


“Sometimes, when you’re single, you doubt the Lord’s goodness.  You forget that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. You pray fervently for a pious spouse. And then you stop praying, sure that the Lord’s good gift of marriage is not for you.”

 “You resign yourself to a life you didn't imagine, one you didn't want. And then, in His perfect time and in His perfect way, the Lord gives you the perfect gift. And, in this case, that gift was a 6’2 Lutheran dairy farmer, one who had been praying and waiting himself. And when that happens, you just can’t help but kick your heels up a little. Because when the Lord does something, He does it well. When He sees you through all broken hearts, all the tearful calls to your mother, all the whining to your sisters and your best friend, all the sighs, all the Valentine’s Days, He does it in style.”

“Because His plan is always good and perfect and best.
Despite the evidence.
Despite proof of the opposite.
Despite your feelings
And you wonder why you ever doubted.”

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

There is only one thing which should be the object of anxious search and that is the kingdom of God.
To be a member of this kingdom, to have and keep true faith in the heart, through which such membership is insured, that is the one fact which should give every Christian his chief concern, on account of which he daily prays the Second Petition – Thy kingdom come!

All the other things that are necessary for the sustaining of life are added without worry or care, by the providence of God.

P.E. Kretzmann, pg. 336

Christ removes all fear through trust in Him!

32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Jesus Christ has given you the Kingdom in Him. From the “little flock” of the disciples and through simple means of the word of promise God gives the Kingdom to those whom He desires to. So Christ tells them:

33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The desires of the heart towards God in faith cannot be destroyed. Giving to the needs of others and not being consumed with the things of this world opens the treasure of heaven, Jesus Christ, by faith. No thief can take that away because you are in the hands of Christ Jesus as He promises in John 10:28:

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand

Christ removes all fear through trust in Him!

Though the world at times tries to keep you quiet in fear, as Nikita Khrushchev did to those who questioned him, God has set you free of that fear by faith in the finished work of His Son who calls to His side, covers you with His righteousness and comforts you with the Good News that the Kingdom of Heaven is yours – in Christ!

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

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