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      Much is happening in our world today that has caused fear among many people.   The news agencies seem to only promote stories that produce fear and unrest.   This is a problem.  Fear then becomes our “ruler”, meaning we become “bound by fear”.  

   This is especially harmful to a Christian. When a Christian allows themselves to be bound by, or controlled by fear, they have “submitted” to fear. We are told in Romans 6:16-18 that we are not to “yield ourselves servants” to that which is detrimental to our eternal soul.   Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 

   However, not all “fear” is the same. Fear can be a positive thing, and fear can be negative. Solomon was directed by the Spirit, in Ecclesiastes 12:13 to write the conclusion of the whole matter. “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This is very positive. This type of fear is the reverence one is to have for God.   If this type of fear exists in your life, you will subject yourselves to God and His Word. And, if you do this, you’ll not need to fear where your soul will spend eternity.   Jesus alluded to this in speaking to His disciples in Matthew 10:28 when He described two fears. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

     Below is a poem Linda’s dad wrote for her to use when she was leading a ladies class on fear when we lived in Florida.    It took him about forty-five minutes to write this little poem, and since then He has departed this life to await the judgment, but the message in it is important and much needed today.


The fear of God, is at reverence for Him,

which leads men to obey,

and access the values of right and wrong,

no matter what others say.

Such awareness motivates the trusting heart

To walk where we fear to tread,

And to cast out fear along the way,

for all will be well just ahead.

“There is nothing to fear, but fear itself”,

the inevitable will surely be,

and a well-founded faith will buoy us up

as we wrestle the storms of the sea.

“Oh, ye of little faith, why are ye afraid”?

we hear the captain say.

“This ship won’t sink in this troubled sea,

I sail this way every day.”  

And yes, when we walk thru the valley of death

we won’t be traveling alone.

We’ll have no fear, for our captain is near,

to safely guide us home.

Fear God and keep His Commandments we’re told,

This is the whole duty of man.

For from where we are, it may not be far.

‘til we enter the PROMISED LAND!

written 8/28/1994

O.D. Wilson deceased

     One of our past presidents, many of whom are being vilified in the news by many who are featured in the news of late, in his first inaugural address stated: “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself”. (F.D.R. 1933)   He went on to say that fear was: “a nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”   This is the type of fear the Christian cannot afford to have in his or her life.   When one is “paralyzed” with fear, they cannot be “galvanized” to do the work of the Lord. This work is very much needed in the societies that makes our world today.  

     One may fear rattlesnakes, alligators and other outdoor creatures (and for good reason), yet one does not refuse himself the pleasure of enjoying nature God gave us! We simply use the appropriate caution, and means for protection so we can enjoy these things.   The same should be said of the joy and pleasure we derive from gathering to serve and worship God as He has directed in His Word. Use caution, prevention, and common sense as needed in this physical realm. But most of all, use the “spiritual armor” God has provided in His Word.   We’ll all need it to be ready to face the inevitable, as we make that final journey to await our final abode.  

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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