HomeWord - Dec. 10, 2008

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Do Not Be Afraid!
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

There are a lot of scary things in our world these days like wars, natural disasters, violence, and economic difficulties. If we don’t keep a close eye on our attitudes and perspectives, fear can creep into our lives. Unchecked fear can paralyze and damage our souls, making it difficult to live life to the fullest, as God intends.

In another, long ago dark time of human history, it should not go without notice that when God breaks onto the scene to announce the birth of Jesus, the first thing the angel who appeared to the shepherds said, “Do not be afraid!”

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:8-11

We celebrate Christmas as God loved us so much to give us the gift of Jesus who is able to conquer the fear in our lives as we trust in Him.

“Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:17

"Fear not," then said the Angel, 
"let nothing you affright, 
This day is born a Savior 
Of pure Virgin bright, 
To free all those who trust in Him 
From Satan's power and might."

O tidings of comfort and joy, 
comfort and joy, 
O tidings of comfort and joy. 
(from God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

Going Deeper: 

  1. What makes you afraid? 
  2. How has fear been an obstacle to experiencing joy in your life? 
  3. In what ways can celebrating Christmas serve to drive fear out of your life? 

Family Time: Seal an empty box, and wrap it with Christmas wrapping to make it look like a Christmas present. On the side of the box, cut a slit in it, large enough to slip a piece of paper into the box. Set the box under the Christmas tree. Use the content above to have a family discussion about how Jesus came to free us from fear. After the discussion, give each family a piece of paper and a pen. Have everyone make a list of what makes them afraid. When everyone is done, have them place their list in the empty box under the Christmas tree, explaining that as a family, you are symbolically choosing to give your fears to Jesus. Keep the box under the tree until just before Christmas as a reminder that with Jesus in our lives, there is no reason to fear. Remove the box and dispose of it before the family opens their Christmas gifts.

Jim Liebelt is Senior Editor of Publications at HomeWord.

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