Protection

November 22, 2014


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SCRIPTURE

Many sorrows come to the wicked, but abiding love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
~Psalm 32:10, TLB

QUOTE

God’s presence in the trial is better than exemption from the trial.
~Anonymous

my thoughts red

I was taking a walk the other day. It was very cold and I had on a heavy coat with a hood. I was focused on the white line at the edge of the road. Looking up meant facing the bitter wind so I was looking down. All of a sudden, I hear a ferocious dog and he is very near. I could almost feel his breath and had no doubt it was only inches away. As it turned out, about 60 inches and between dog and myself, there was an 8 foot chain link fence. He rattled the fence but he did not rattle me because of the fence. As I thought about my bravery, I realized that my confidence was in the fence. Then I thought about what Paul said in Ephesians 6,  “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

I’ve never seen an evil spirit not any authorities in the unseen world but I suppose they are all around. The fact that I cannot see them does not mean they do not exist. I firmly believe that Christ is our shield. He has surrounded us with an invisible shield that protects us from these forces of evil. I think they are close [like the dog] but they can’t get to us because of our protection. Psalm 3:3 reads…But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. Again is Psalm 5:2…For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love. We cannot see the shield or the enemy but both are there. Wow! Thank You Jesus for protection.

I read another verse in Psalm 34 today that substantiates the above….“The Angel of the LORD {Jesus} encamps around those who fear Him.”

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  • Today we pray for STUDENTS.
  • Tomorrow is a huge day…OCC shoe boxes, baptism and Luke 14. No deacons meeting. Lord willing, I will have the donuts and biscuits at the parlor by 8:30.
  • Went to Doctor yesterday…I can drive but cannot pick up anything that weights over 25 pounds for next six weeks.
  • Congratulation to Jeff and Renea on the birth of their son.
  • Don’t forget, you can make an appointment for family photo this Sunday: See Mandy or Jamie at the welcome center. The photos will be made January 15,16,17. Remember, you do not have to be a member.

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LCBS LESSON PREVIEW

Overcoming Insecurity

Starter: What do you appreciate most about your parents? This may be something that you did not appreciate until you were grown or even recently.

Basic Premise: No one is immune to crisis or the fear that accompanies crisis.

Scripture Text: Genesis 50:14-21, NLT

14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. 19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

 

The Crisis was the death of Jacob the Patriarch. This crisis triggered the insecurity of Joseph’s brothers. In their fear, they fabricated a story about Jacob’s last will and testament. The insecure brothers were overwhelmed by this crisis but from our perspective, they had nothing to fear. PERSPECTIVE is a key. We measure our problems and use words like big and small…”I have a small problem”…or…”I have a huge problem.” Small, big, huge, gigantic are not in God’s dictionary. Nothing is huge to HIM. As a matter of fact: He has no problems.

Joseph’s brothers were convinced that they had a huge, a major problem but it was all in their faulty perspective. They were totally blinded by their insecurity.

QUESTION: Which is bigger, a horse or a mountain? It depends on your perspective. If you are standing close to the horse, the horse may very well eclipse the mountain and appear bigger. But if you will get some distance from the horse, you will see that the mountain in much larger than the horse. No comparison really; the mountain is infinitely greater than the horse. God is the mountain and our problems are the horse. {From our human perspective, it is hard for us to see the reality of things. We don’t see them as God sees them}

QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS

  1. Joseph’s brothers were insecure: what fed their insecurities? {their flawed nature, their sin and guilt, their view of Joseph}
  2. What had been a source of their security? {their confidence in their father and his love}
  3. Why did they make up the story about Jacob’s last will and testament?
  4. Why do insecure people lie?
  5. What was it about Joseph and his character that his brothers did not understand? {Joseph was not like them. His word was good. He had forgiven them and had put their sin in the past. Their mistake was that they assumed Joseph was life them but he was totally different}
  6. What did Joseph believe about God that his brothers had a hard time accepting? {All things work together for good. God took a bad thing and made something good come from it. Joseph had absolute trust or confidence in God}
  7. What is the cure for insecurity? {Faith in Christ}
  8. How did Joseph reassure his brothers? What did he give them? {His word}

INSIGHTS FROM THE LESSON

  1. Joseph’s brothers were insecure because they did not trust him in the same way they trusted their father. The cure for insecurity is absolute trust in our heavenly Father and Jesus His Son.
  2. Joseph reassured his brothers by giving them his word. The key to overcoming insecurity is to study God’s word daily and put faith or confidence in His word.
  3. Attack your fears. Do not allow insecurity to control you. A life that is driven by fear is reactive, not pro-active. If fear is your master: you are more than a slave, you are a victim. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world but fear will make us miserable. No one who is governed by their insecurities can live the abundant life.

STORY

Isobel Kuhn was a missionary in China when the communist took over in the mid-1940’s. She had one son Danny and they fled to Burma. The flight to Burma was hard; they had to go over the snow covered mountains and when they arrived in Myitkyina {upper Burma} they were exhausted, broke, did not know the language and had no place to take refuge. Isobel shook with fear until she realized that her fear would be the death of Danny and herself. She fell on her knees and in the Spirit, rebuked the fear, “God, I refuse to be afraid and I ask You to give me light. Show me what I should do next.” From that moment on, Isobel was not driven by fear but by faith in God’s providence. She and Danny made it home, some 8,000 miles from Burma. She later wrote: “I cannot tell you the alarm and fear I felt but once I cast off the fear and began to trust God for provision: He provided every step of the way.

Fear paralysis: it causes us to be passive, to do nothing which leads to victimization. Our life becomes a series of reactions to how others act upon us. We must cast off fear and act in faith. We step in the light we have and trust God to give us more. Just as Isobel and Danny made it home: you and I will make it also but the journey will be sweeter if we trust God and lean not unto your own understanding.

 

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