SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

DO NOT FEAR THEM (21 OF 52)

by Christopher Harbin


This content is part of a series.

Do Not Fear Them (21 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part Two
Christopher B. Harbin
Matthew 10:26-39


Fear is one of the most ingrained of human emotions. It originates in the more autonomous region of the brain, the portion we call the ''Reptilian Brain.'' It is a response programmed for basic survival, and so it provides a compelling measure of success in keeping us alive. When we face danger and active threats to our safety and security, fear can help us respond quickly to preserve our lives. The problem is that when we engage our fears our higher thinking skills fall by the wayside. We stop processing higher orders of thought. An instinctive reaction can save lives, but it can also cause us to misconstrue what is before us. It may lead us down the wrong path.

Classically, we tend to fear snakes, spiders, and mice, even when we know that they pose no real danger to us. We fear heights and enclosed spaces. We fear cancer, car accidents, strangers, wolves, tornadoes, lightning, and earthquakes with little regard to just how likely they are to cause us harm. Then there are the things we should fear, but we brush aside as irrelevant, even when the science tells us they cause us harm. A healthy dose of fear is good for us, as long as it is directed in the appropriate direction and to the proper degree. Too often, our fears just don't match up with reality.

Someone counted up 365 times the Bible says, ''Do not fear,'' once for every day of the year. I'm not sure how accurate that is, though the term fear does show up 365 times in the Bible. The Bible also uses the term afraid 189 times. At least some of those uses are in parallel with the term fear. The overall takeaway is that God consistently tells us not to fear, not to be afraid. We consistently need that reminder. We tend to live in fear and with fear, regardless of how many times the Bible tells us otherwise. There is more to it, however.

In Matthew 10, Jesus gets more specific in addressing fear. Th ...

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