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Don't Be Afraid of 2018


"The future is as bright as the promises of God".....Words from Adoniram Judson, Baptists' first missionary from America, spoken from a dungeon in Burma where he was imprisoned in stocks for three and one-half years.

cffblog6.jpgJanuary 1, 2018 Monday)

Fifty-nine years ago I preached a New Year's sermon entitled, "Don't Be Afraid of 1959." The text of the sermon was Isaiah 41:10. In that verse, God tells us, "Fear not!" Then He gives us at least three reasons to be confident and unafraid as we begin a new year. I have preached that message numerous times through the years, always updating the title to refer to the current new year. In the spirit of that sermon, I encourage each of you to read the verse in Isaiah, and remember that God says, "Don't be afraid of 2018, because I am your God; I will be with you and I will help you."

Here's the message:

1. Don't be afraid of 2018 because I am your God. He makes it personal. He identifies Himself and us. Reminds me of another verse, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine" (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV). Who is this God? He is Adam's God, Abraham's God, Moses' God, David's God: the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer and Guide. As the song says, "Without Him, I would be nothing."

2. Don't be afraid of 2018 because I will be with you. It's one thing to know there is a god somewhere, but it is quite something else to know that God is with us, right here where we are living our lives day after day. We can open our heart and talk with Him wherever we are and any time of day or night. "He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.."

3. Don't be afraid of 2018 because I will help you.
He actively participates in our lives. He cares about everything that's happening with us. Jesus pointed out to us that our Heavenly Father clothes the fields with beautiful flowers and knows when a sparrow falls. Our Savior then asked, "If God takes care of the lilies and sparrows, don't you think He can take care of you?" (from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7). He is as close to you as you want Him to be, and is helping you as much as you let Him.

Fear not! You have "Someone who cares," who is with you every moment of every day, and is ready to help you. Last year at this time as we looked forward to 2017, I doubt that any of us foresaw the events of a year we will never forget. What does 2018 hold? I do not know, but I know that God wants me to face it with absolute confidence in His loving care of His own.


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