Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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For some reason that headline just seemed so ominous to so many people. "First Ebola death in America." I don't think most of us thought it would ever come that close. But it did. Ebola is out there, and the world's been on edge.
And then there are the men in the black masks, who've been bringing the most unthinkable atrocities right into our living rooms in the news. They are leaving a trail of blood as they grab more and more real estate. And seemingly sometimes seem unstoppable. They hate Western culture, but they use our social media to inspire young men from around the world - including America - to join their cause and unleash their terror on the streets of Western countries.
Then just beneath the breaking news is the growing prospect of nukes in the hands of those who hate America. And an unchecked Russia on the move.
I've heard one sentiment repeated over and over again on newscasts, "People are afraid."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Safe Place in a Scary World".
So many growing dangers that are beyond our control. I guess we could panic, we could freeze, we could hide. Or, we can just try to ignore the dangers. Those are all bad ideas.
I'll go with that iconic line from Franklin Roosevelt's First Inaugural. As a desperate America lay devastated by the Great Depression. Fearful of a dark future. The new President confronted head-on the greatest danger people were facing. He said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
That's still true today. Even as deadly storms, once so far away, loom so close to home. I've made up my mind - no matter how unsettling the news - that fear is our worst enemy. It paralyzes us ... it distorts our judgment ... it makes us reactive rather than proactive. And it scares our family - because the captain is scared.
So I'm committed to a pretty simple strategy to have peace in a scary world. First, stay informed. Not just about sports or celebrities or music, but about what's happening in our world. Rumors and speculation, they fuel fear. Facts fuel wise decisions and reasonable responses.
And then secondly, take reasonable precautions. You know, those steps that the medical and security folks keep telling us about. To wash your hands often, be careful around sick people, drink a lot of water. Be aware of your surroundings. Have an emergency plan. Preparation beats trepidation.
But after all is said and done, the really great antidote to fear is in my soul. Anchoring my life to something I can't lose. A deep recession, weather calamities, world events that threaten to endanger our once-safe bubble - they remind us that everything we hold in our hand is so vulnerable. So loseable.
And that's a reason to fear.
Unless my safety, and my security, and my identity is beyond the reach of any disease, any terror, any disaster. Even beyond death itself.
His name is Jesus.
Because of His death for my sin on the cross, I now belong to the all-powerful God who rules a hundred billion galaxies. He's in charge. And I know He will never stop loving me. His love for this rebel was written in blood. His love for you was written in His blood.
Our word for today from the Word of God: from Romans 5:1,11, "we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us ... He has made us friends with God." Peace with God, that's peace in my soul. Whatever happens, no longer at the mercy of evil or sickness or disaster. God's got me now.
Do you know that for sure? Do you know you belong to Him? Do you know the wall that your sin has created has been torn down because your sin has been forgiven by the one who died for them? That would be Jesus. And if you've never put your life in His hands, in times like these, why would you have your life anywhere else? He is the safe place in the scary world. You want to begin a relationship with Him? Let me urge you to spend a few minutes on our website, and there I'll lay out for you exactly how you can belong to Him. It's ANewStory.com.
God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you" and the Bible says, "therefore, I will have no fear" (Hebrews 13:5-6). Run to Him, you'll never have to be afraid.