Big Idea:God’s love casts out your fear, let it!
God’s love casts out your fear, let it!
All Christians risk falling into a trap.
Each day that passes takes with it what we have done or didn’t do.
Once a moment is past, it cannot be redeemed, we are simply enslaved to move on to the next moment, and the next, and the next.
Solomon even says in Ecc.
1:8-11 “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So, there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages which were before us.
There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur.
There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.”
Those verses not only reflect the fleeting nature of the endeavors of this life, but the reality of the ignorance of it in future generations.
Each generation risks missing the realization throughout their life, that they have fallen prey to life’s trap.
Sadly, often times that realization comes only in the last few moments of their life when they can do little or nothing about it, since the tyrant of time has taken those moments away.
This tyrant of time has a partner in its enslaving endeavors.
Its partner is the trap that stands ready to eat away any meaningful efforts of its prey.
It is a subtle trap, one that seems innocent enough, but in the end hands over the entire life of its prey to its partner.
This trap keeps those outside of the family of God from seeing their need for a Savior.
It keeps them feeling good about themselves for the time being and numbs their sense of any need to be saved until often, it is too late to make a choice and their fate is sealed.
However, this trap is not just set to keep people from putting their faith in Jesus Christ, it can also ensnare, and does ensnare many Christians who have.
It is a mutual enemy of all people, saved or not.
If the trap fails to keep one from looking for and trusting in a Savior, it then lies in wait to numb the believer, to keep him or her feeling good about themselves now that they are saved, and slowly sneaks away their sense of awareness in the life that they now lead.
Like many enemies we face, that trap is known by different names.
Some call it complacency, others might see it as indifference.
Truly these are good names.
The former describes an inner contentment in the midst of upcoming need; and the latter suggests (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), “a lack of interest in or concern about something.” in fact, these two names may indeed be weapons that actual trap uses to ensnare its prey, but the trap as a whole is much more sinister than these two weapons.
The trap of which I speak is Apathy.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this trap as, “a puzzling or deplorable inertness or lack of passion.”
Strangely, this trap is subtle, at least at first.
Apathy starts by simply stealing away small bits of time here or there.
These moments are so small, so seemingly insignificant because of complacency, that one rarely if ever realizes they are lost—taken from us.
Pretty soon Apathy uses indifference to dull our excitement or interest in the value of moments, since in our complacency, we don’t see the danger of its loss.
He then takes ever increasingly larger bites of our moments, consuming them like a bald eagle striving to get every consumable part of its prey until there is no substance left.
Apathy is more than just a trap, it is our enemy.
Last week we spoke of the greatest of all commands out of Matt.
22:37-39 “And He said to him, ”‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’“This is the great and foremost commandment.“The
second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Love God with your whole being and love others like you love yourself.
Apathy is the enemy of God’s greatest command.
Apathy lures our hearts, souls, and minds from loving others, due to either us having no time or strength left to do so, or worse, a lack of passion to even care to.
Soon, our cares for ourselves, in the midst of our fatigue, increasingly becomes that which we strive for.
It consumes our hearts, souls, and minds exhaustingly.
Soon, due to our exhaustion, we begin to fear loosing that which we have gained for ourselves.
At times that fear even grows to panic or despondency, especially when we cannot hold onto it.
Love and Apathy are at war!
Love and Apathy are at war for your life’s moments.
There is no demilitarized zone between the two, no neutral place in which we can live our lives.
We are either growing at loving as we should or allowing Apathy to slowly eat away the flesh of our hearts, souls, and minds.
Thinking all along that we are doing it for ourselves (for our pleasures, for our needs, even for self-preservation), when all along it is the very things that eats away the substance of our lives.
The battle between Apathy and love rages on, constantly, each one fighting for the moments of your life.
Each moment we wait to respond is another moment that has been stolen and given over to the tyrant we know as Time.
So, how do we join this battle for the moments of our lives?
We must, as it says in Eph.
5:16 “[make]the most of [our] time, because the days are evil.”
John, towards the end of the first century after Christ, reminded us in his writing of 1 John that we too have a weapon to wield in this war, that weapon is God’s love, offered to all who will accept it and embrace it.
Turn to 1 John 4:7-19, if you are not there already.
Embrace the love of God vv.
Embrace the love of God
++Accept and adopt God’s love through Christ as you continually and daily preach your salvation to yourself vv.
++Make it priority to share that love vv.
Abide in the love of God vv.
Abide in the love of God
++Rest in God’s love rather than your own vv.
++Only resting in God’s love perfects yours vv.
Rest in the love of God vv.
Rest in the love of God
++Perfect love casts our fear v. 18 a
++Rest is found in the absence of fear
++Love starts and ends with God v. 19
The 4 questions: :
++Is it helpful?
++Does it bring me under its power?
++Does it hurt others?
++Does it glorify God?