Bro. Michael Jacob
There are two kinds of fear. Firstly, ‘the REVERENTIAL FEAR’ and secondly, the ‘TORMENTING FEAR’. Jesus came to impart the first fear but to do away with the second one. This is the message for this season. Hello! There everybody, it is nice to be with you once again. The WOG in India is sending its greetings to all of you over there. “Glory to God in the Highest”. Praise be to God!
FEAR OF INDECISION
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying Joseph, thou son of David fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Mathew 1: 18-21) ‘Indecision’ is the first fear Jesus wants to do away in our lives. Decision making is very difficult for us. Joseph loves Mary dearly and wants to marry her. However, Just before their marriage, Joseph discovers that she is pregnant. What will Joseph do? Will he stand by it or put her away? INDECISION How many times you are in such predicament to decide. At that time, the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph and said to him,”Fear not; this is the work of the Holy Ghost”. How can you decide? At such moments, God speaks to us. ‘The steps of a righteous man are always ordered by the Lord’.
In my own personal life, I tended to be wishy-washy; I tended to be double-minded. When the Lord called me to serve Him fully, I could not make a decision. How to leave the ministry in the Gulf? How to serve the Lord? Am I not doing it now? Till one day God spoke to me ‘Arise, Go to Bethel, build an altar and worship Me there”. Afterwards, the Fear of Indecision began to disappear from my life.
When you face a significant decision, indecision is a torment. The Lord JESUS is our example. He never changes! In other words, He is never double-minded. He took upon Himself the ‘cross’ and His face was like a flint towards JERUSALEM. The Bible says, “Butter and honey shall he eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” Isaiah 7: 15. JESUS always chose the good and He went about doing good. There was no indecision in His life.
This is a basic lesson for each of us. The child of the king should learn to make decisions. “Nothing shall separate me from the love of my Lord JESUS CHRIST” That was the decision the Apostle took after he met the Lord. That is the first lesson for this season.
FEAR OF INADEQUACY
“And Zacharias said unto the angel, whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man and my wife well stricken in years” (Luke 1: 18)
This is the second kind of fear that our Lord Jesus wants to do away this season. Zacharia’s wife was barren but the angel of the Lord came to tell him that she will conceive. Zacharias had a fear of inadequacy. When God had said something, He will see to that, is it not? He says “I want you to move to India” then, He will give me the necessary adequate support.
After I came back to India, one day God spoke to me, “today in the Sunday morning service call the sick people forward and pray for them”. “Me? Healing! I am sick myself Lord! If nothing happens, I will be a fool of myself. How can I do that?”-Inadequacy.
Remember, whenever God asks you something it will be something you cannot do by yourself. That Sunday morning many came for prayer. We prayed and I prayed fervently. Nothing seemed to happen. Days rolled by. I told God, “Didn’t I tell you? Nothing happened” When all of a sudden I visited a poor lady’s house. The witness she told me shocked me and I learnt the second lesson of this season. She told me that she was a heart patient. There was a hole in her heart. She could not breathe properly. She didn’t have the money to the heart operation. That Sunday morning she came to the church. She came forward for prayer. She told me when she went a few days ago to the Doctor for check up, the doctor was surprised and asked her where she did the operation because there is no hole in the heart now! Praise the Lord!
It takes a little while to realize this God must make up for our inadequacy with His adequacy. He wants to show that adequacy is not human- it is Divine. Inadequacy is a fear that torments all of us. We tend to fell that we are not good enough. Fear not, My friend! The Holy Ghost will do this in your life. Just remain as what you are. This is the second lesson of this season.
FEAR OF COMMITMENT
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His Name JESUS.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:……..
For with God nothing shall be impossible”(Luke 1: 26-38)
This is the third fear, the Fear of commitment. Jesus came to do away such a fear. Mary saw what it would cost to obey what the angel of God had told her. Nevertheless she courageously accepted the assignment.
Mary knew what God was asking her. Still she consented. That is commitment.
Commitment! God says, “I want you to go to India” “Hallelujah”
“I will be with you”
“Glory to God”
And God says, “By the way, watch out for some groups and persecutions ………” Commitment includes the pain with full knowledge of it. There is a cost to commitment.
One day one young girl approached me. “Brother I am on the look out for a Job. I am not able to get the community certificate”
I asked her “why?”
She said, “I was a Hindu but some years ago the Lord saved me and I changed my name to a Christian name, Because of that they are not giving me the community certificate.”
I said, ” That is right. That is the way it is supposed to work”
Commitment means that you take your lumps along with the blessing. This is the third message of this season. Jesus came to do away this fear even the fear of commitment.
FEAR OF INSIGNIFICANCE
” And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2: 8)
This is the fourth and the last fear, the ‘Fear of Insignificance’ Jesus came to do away with this fear. Most people depreciate themselves. “Brother, you don’t even know me. I don’t want to take up your time. Can you give me one minute?”
JESUS saved you. That means you are really important to Him. Don’t self depreciate yourself. In Christ we are significant to God. Each person (not group) is important to God.
Do you know that God in the scriptures took only so-called ‘insignificant people’? Joseph for example was servant in the Porthipar’s house. Daniel was a captive in Babylon. The first person whom Jesus revealed Himself as Messiah was a woman who had slept with five men! JESUS was interested in Zaccheus! A tax-collector! After Resurrection, it was a professional prostitute, Mary Magdalene who was privileged to see Him out of the tomb! INSIGNIFICANT!
Now, the shepherds were told about the birth of JESUS!
The angel came to them, “I want to bring to you good tidings of great joy”
It happened to me in Kerala in southern India. That evening I had to attend to two meetings. The two were in different places, quite apart. The first meeting took a long time. Somehow I wanted to go to the second one immediately since people will be waiting there. But all of a sudden a young man came to me, “Brother I was a Catholic. But now I have accepted the Lord. I am saved. Do you think I need water Baptism?”
I told him, “Brother after you are saved, you need to be baptized in water as early as possible. That is the commandment of the Lord and it is necessary. Even Jesus obeyed that commandment”
He said, “Brother, if so, I am ready now. Give me now”. I said, “Look here. It is already 9 p.m. I need to go to another meeting. Besides that, I did not bring any change of clothes. So it is better for you to take tomorrow morning. Some Pastor here can help you”
He was adamant. And so finally I had to baptize him in a river near by. Glory to God! His face changed! He started singing.
I left hurriedly for the second meeting. When I reached there, no one was there. I asked the house people, ‘What happened?’ They said that nobody came that evening for the meeting.
If God wants to bless you, you don’t even have to know it-He can get you there by accident. You are not insignificant to the Lord. God knows you.
This is the fourth message of the season. Jesus came to do away the fear of insignificance. When He conquers us, we can serve Him without fear.
“WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS”