Message SummaryTake a moment this Christmas season to reflect on the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ in this special message from Delaney Woodward of Copper Pointe Church. Using 2 Timothy 1:7 as a launching pad, Delaney looks at why we don't have to live our lives in fear as she expounds on three gifts of God that we can put in place to practically live that out: power, love, and a sound mind.
We're in the holiday season – where we're thinking about gifts, receiving gifts, giving gifts.
Obviously we're celebrating the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ in this season – but I also want to look more in depth at some of the other practical gifts we've received from him.
We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind… 2 Timothy 1:7
You have POWER over what you don't allow.
When it comes to fear, the Bible tells us that we have the same kind of power in our lives to not allow fear to have power in our lives.
Did you know that the Bible says the SAME power that conquered the grave lives in us?
We know that fear has NO PLACE in the life of a Christian.
If we do have fear in our lives – it's because on some level we're allowing it.
But a Christian life should not be one lived in fear.
We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind… 2 Timothy 1:7
You see, we have received the gift of power, love, and a sound mind through the Holy Spirit.
So conversely, we know that:
If you do have a spirit of fear – whether it's about your marriage, your finances, your children – it's not from God.
So we're going to look at what we do HAVE – this indescribable gift of the Holy Spirit and what that means in our lives.
The word power, or “Dunamis” in the original Greek, is used over 100 times in the New Testament, is a word employed to describe God - the most powerful force in the universe.
It is a word used to describe the most powerful event that ever happened -- the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And, it can be a word used to describe God's people.
In Acts 1:8, just before he's taken back into heaven, Jesus tells his disciples this:
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We have access to this power!
However, for many of us, it feels like the power has gone out…
- We don't have the energy to face the demands of life
- We don't have the passion we once did
- We don't have the sense of purpose or meaning we long for
- We don't have the will to face temptation
- We don't have hope…
Many of us walk through life as though we're the victims of what's happened to us.
Illustration: Little old lady with electricity
Conclusion: Some of us are tapped into power but we're not using it.
Myth: God helps those who help themselves.
Reality: God is just waiting for us to give up control and get rid of the pretense that we can do this on our own.
He wants us to relinquish control and operate in his power – and we'll be so much more effective than on our own.
“My grace is sufficient for you – my POWER is made perfect in your weakness.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9
Our weakness is a good thing when we surrender it to God.
Illustration:“Stay connected to the source” – iPhone not connected to the SOURCE.
My house has this source of power flowing through it at all times – I just have to plug into it to access it.
It's just a matter of making a point of accessing it.
God's power is all around you – you just have to plug into it.
If you feel like you're operating in fear – operating in weakness – not living up to your potential – you might want to ask yourself if you're plugged into the SOURCE.
What does that mean? It means seeking him, reading his word, praying to him…
We know this because the Bible demonstrates it for us – individuals throughout the Bible who were plugged into the source.
- God empowered Moses in leading the Jews out of Egypt;
- God empowered David in his battle with Goliath;
- God empowered Daniel as he stood in the midst of hungry lions;
- God empowered Esther to approach the throne of the king to save her people despite the likelihood of personal harm;
- God empowered Peter as he forged the early church;
- God empowered Paul throughout his trials through fire.
The Bible tells us in 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 that we should always “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…”
Sometimes we feel anything but powerful.
You may never FEEL powerful – but that's not the point.
It's recognizing the power of God within you that makes you strong.
It's why Paul says “When I am weak, then I am STRONG”.
NOT a spirit of fear – but of power, LOVE, and a sound mind.
Love and fear don't seem like opposites?
The Bible also tells us in 1 John 4:18 that: “There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear.”
How does love cast out fear?
Power seems like the opposite of fear, as does sound mind – but Love?
If you think about it – love implies security, peace, trust.
When you think of someone you love, or who loves you – and this doesn't have to mean romantically – it's someone that you feel confident in – that you can trust – that will be consistent.
This isn't the flawed human love that we sometimes distort – this is the perfect love of our Savior.
And this isn't just any love – it's PERFECT love.
That means we can be perfectly at rest, at peace, and confident in His love – and that eliminates any need to fear.
When we know our Savior and we understand his perfect love for us – then we have nothing to be afraid of.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that God IS love.
So when you're afraid, it's not from God.
There is NO FEAR in love, and God IS love.
We see in Psalm 118:6, the psalmist writes, “The Lord is with me – I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
This is saying that God – who is Love – is with us – so we cannot and should not be afraid!
We face a lot of things that cause us to fear in this life.
But THIS is the perfect love that we can rely on:
Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When you're afraid - you start thinking things that don't make sense.
The American Psychiatric Association has identified over 100 phobias.
Some of them, when you read them, are really funny and seem irrational.
They include things like:
Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.
Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.
Dentophobia: fear of the dentist or dental procedures.
Porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple.
Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.
Phobophobia: fear of being afraid.
Have you ever tried to rationalize with someone who has an irrational fear?
They're very aware that what they fear is silly, but they still fear nonetheless.
Fear is a tactic of the enemy because he knows it will make you think irrationally.
What do we KNOW? God is good. God is strong. God is with me.
But when we fear – that's when we begin to think crazy things.
Maybe God has left me.
Maybe God isn't as powerful as I thought.
Maybe God isn't good.
The way that we THINK is incredibly important.
The way that we think about situations, relationships, ourselves…
Any thought that you have that is contrary to what God says about you is wrong.
You can convince yourself of a lot of things – that you're worthless, have no value, etc…
But GOD tells us differently.
- In 2 Corinthians 5:17 God says you are a new creation.
- In 1 Peter 2:9 ,God says you are chosen.
- In Ephesians 2:10 God says you are his workmanship.
- In Romans 8:1, God says that you are acquitted.
- In John 1:12, God says you are his child.
- In 1 Corinthians 6:19, God says that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- In 1 John 4:4, God says that you are an overcomer.
- In Philippians 3:20, God says that you are a citizen of heaven.
- In Romans 5:1, God says that you are justified.
- In Romans 6:18, God says that you are set free.
- In Matthew 5:14, God says that you are a light.
How do we combat the lies of the enemy?
Take every thought captive.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:5
When God says that you're one thing but you feel like another – DEMOLISH that argument.
“As he thinks in his heart, so is he…” - Proverbs 23:7
How do we take our thoughts captive? By RENEWING our minds
Romans 12:2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Renew your mind with the right stuff.
Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Fill your mind with the Word of God, and you won't have time to dwell in the depths of overcoming fear.
Eastern religion and meditation will tell you to clear your mind – but God tells us the opposite.
We should FILL our mind with HIM.
That's why it's so important to start your day with the Word – start your day by filling your mind with God.
Colossians 3:2 tells us to “set your mind on things above…”
Second part of Philippians 4:8-9 says that if you fill your mind with these things, the God of Peace will be with you.
The world can't take away the peace of God, because the world doesn't give the peace of God.
What do fear and faith have in common? They're both powered by FOCUS.
Choosing to focus on them.
Faith is the byproduct of correct focus.