New Wine for New Wineskins Christmas 2006

By , December 21, 2006 2:32 pm

Fear Not!

 As the enemy of our souls continues to employ fear as a weapon of mass destruction, the message of Christmas is still the same…

 

To receive our GoodNewsLetter by email please send your request to

 

Luke 2: 9 – 11, 13 – 14

9  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10  Then the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11  "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord…….

13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

The question is – whose report will you believe?

It is interesting to note that the world has just received the revelation that the devil is a terrorist!  Jesus gave the church that revelation way back in John 10: 10 – "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

Remember – the first thing that the devil seeks to steal is the word of God out of our hearts.  If he can steal the word then he has succeeded in removing the shield of faith that is our only protection against all of his fiery darts of accusation and his threats to kill and destroy.

The problem with the world is that they have to have a human manifestation of evil, whereas we know that the battle is not a flesh and blood one, but a spiritual one.  And so, for that reason we don't employ flesh weapons in order to defeat our enemy – we access the spiritual weapons that are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God!  Where are the strongholds and arguments? In our minds and in our thoughts!

A stronghold has been defined as: a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God.

The truth is that the devil has always been and always will be a TERRORIST – someone who uses fear, intimidation, and violence to control people and achieve his ends.  Someone who employs FEAR as a weapon of mass destruction!

Whether or not he is successful in using an organisation such as Al Qaeda or any other group to produce destruction on a large scale in one go, he will be working away in individual lives, homes, and families – stealing, killing, and destroying!

That is why we must take hold of the words, "FEAR NOT!"  Why?  Because fear is what opens the door to the devil!  He operates on our fear in the same way as God responds to our faith.  Fear is really just perverted faith – faith in the devil's ability to harm us!

Unless we close the door to fear we can never receive the fullness of what was promised by the angel – "good tidings of great joy – a Saviour, Christ the Lord – peace and goodwill".

The GOOD NEWS is that even in the midst of threats of terrorism – whether individual or global – we can live in the peace of God with the joy of the Lord as our strength!  Why?  Because we have a Saviour – Jesus Christ the Lord – who has overcome the devil!

John 16: 33

 33  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

In the world there will always be tribulation – pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress.

The devil will always be trying to put the squeeze on you – but we can rejoice in the victory we have over him. We can resist him steadfast in the faith – in the words that Jesus spoke to us:

Luke 10: 19 

"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

John 16: 7 – 11; 18 – 27

7  "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8  "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
9  "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10  "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11  "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12  "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…….


18  "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19  "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20  "Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
21  "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
22  "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23  "He who hates Me hates My Father also.
24  "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.
25  "But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, `They hated Me without a cause.'
26  "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
27  "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning."

Acts 1: 8

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Good news to ALL people – good will toward men!  God is GOOD and His will is to demonstrate His goodness to all people!

We need to close the door to FEAR and open the door to FAITH – so that the world can begin to experience the fullness of the Christmas message!

There has been no message so opposed from within the church than the message of FAITH.  Why?  Because the devil hates it with a passion – it is the only message that renders him ineffective!

According to Galatians 5: 6 all religion is worthless – there is only one worthwhile lifestyle – the life of faith activated, energised and working through love!

Remember – your faith will only ever work in direct proportion to the revelation you have of how much God loves you!  You have to take His word for it – faith comes by hearing – He loves you!  He loves everybody!  Let the revelation of His love for you put your faith to work!

1 John 4: 13 – 19

13  By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world.
15  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
17  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
19  We love Him because He first loved us.

We have the revelation that God loves us!  That is what closes the door to fear and fuels our faith!

You can always believe in every circumstance that God wants the best for you! And not just for you – for all men!

Remember –

·    We are the righteous resisting sin
·    We are the healed resisting sickness
·    We are the delivered resisting oppression
·    We are the prosperous resisting poverty

Sadly, tradition has opened the door to FEAR in the church. 

The church has been afraid to receive much of the revelation of God's love and provision because it was afraid of being deceived – basically it sounded too good to be true!

But the message of the first Christmas remains the same!

Luke 2:  10 – 14

"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11  "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…….
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

The church has been eyeing each other up in suspicion and disunity instead of allowing the revelation of God's love draw us into the unity of the faith!

This is what Jesus prayed for believers!

John 17: 20 – 26

20  "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
21  "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22  "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23  "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24  "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25  "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
26  "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

WOW! When the church accepts the revelation of God's love and provision in its fullness it drives out all fear of being deceived, and the church comes to the unity of the faith – releasing manifestations of power and demonstrations of the glory of God that the world cannot deny!

Matthew 1:23 

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

God with us!  And more than with us – God in us!

Many people this Christmas will try and temporarily drown out their problems and their fears with the party spirit and over-indulgence in food, alcohol, lust, and uncontrolled spending – only to come crashing back to reality when the fruit of their madness appears in sickness, hangovers, date rapes and unwanted pregnancies, or even just the arrival of the credit card statement!

That is why we are exhorted in

Ephesians 5: 18

18  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (wasteful consumption or expenditure; debauched indulgence in pleasure without moral restraint; intemperance); but be (continually being) filled with the Spirit

We have no need to apply artificial anaesthetic to try and cover up our fears because:

2 Timothy 1: 7

7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We don't need the artificial because we have the real thing! 

We don't need the false feelings of power that come through alcohol consumption or a large credit limit on our platinum card; nor do we need the empty alcohol-fuelled words of flattery or promises of lifelong friendship and devotion; nor do we need the incoherent ramblings of the worldly wise who claim to hold the answers to all of life's problems, or the barren counsel of the agony aunts and the pseudo-psychology of those who are educated beyond their intellect!

We receive power as we are continually filled with the Holy Spirit – power over all the power of the enemy – power to overcome in every situation and circumstance, including security from every threat of terrorism!

We receive the love of God poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit – the revelation of God's love that energises our faith – not just to get our own needs met, but enabling us to demonstrate the unconditional love of God toward others and to exercise faith on their behalf.

We receive the mind of Christ – the spirit of wisdom and revelation in Him that equips us to demolish every argument, and that pulls down every stronghold of limitation.  As our minds are fixed on Jesus and the finished work of the Cross we are kept in perfect peace – the shalom of God – nothing missing, nothing broken is manifested in our lives.  As our thoughts line up with His thoughts, our words line up with His words, our actions line up with His actions, our character is conformed to His character, and our destiny is fulfilled according to His will and purpose!

And so, as the media bombards us with bad news and threats of impending doom – as the statistics of those whose hearts are failing them through fear-fuelled stress and anxiety increase; as the retirement age is removed to enable people whose pensions have failed to go on working – the message of Christmas remains the same!

FEAR NOT! HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

Luke 2: 10 – 11, 13 – 14

10 Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11  "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…….
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Whose report will you believe?

FEAR NOT!

And have a Superabundantly Blessed Christmas that paves the way  for a  New Year  of  Prosperity and  Increase!

Pastor Donnie Stewart

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy