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SERMON: Prisoners of Fear

Many are held as prisoners because of fear!

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes us serviceable-and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in hope and love.

Everyone knows what its like to be afraid. Fear is very much a part of our lives. Maybe you're afraid of losing your job, or your health, or losing your finances. Maybe you're afraid of not being accepted by others. Or maybe you're just afraid of growing old.

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin." (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

The list could go on and on, for all of us have things that cause us to experience the emotion we call "fear."

As a result, we try to take precautions to protect ourselves. We buy insurance policies to cover those things we consider valuable. We put bars on our windows and doors and buy alarm systems to protect our automobiles. We refrain from making new relationships in fear of being disappointed or heart broken.

There are several types of fear:

1. Good Fear - keeps us from avoiding dangerous situations, such as respecting electricity, turning the gas off when we smell a leak, going down a street with lights and people rather than a deserted road. Fear is a God Given Emotion that prepares your body and mind to deal with a challenge in life. There is nothing wrong with having fear in most instances. In fact, it can be a very healthy emotion to have. It can keep you alive. The adrenalin prepares your body to deal with the possible battle or flight from danger. The power of fear gives us the ability to do far more than we ever dreamed we could do.

2. Harmful Fear- paralyzes us. It keeps us from doing things we could or should do. Uncontrolled Fear is destructive. It tortures, destroys and debilitates. Dr. Walter Cannon, a pioneer researcher in psychosomatic medicine at Harvard Univ., describes what happens to the human body when it becomes angry or fearful: "Respiration deepens; the heart beats more rapidly; the arterial pressure rises; the blood is shifted from the stomach and intestines to the heart, central nervous system, and the muscles; the processes of the alimentary canal cease; sugar is freed from the reserves in the liver; the spleen contracts and discharges its contents of concentrated corpuscles, and adrenalin is secreted." You don't want to hold all of that in! It will make you sick!

Satan is a master at using our fears. Fear is one of his primary weapons.

1. Satan uses common fears like failure and rejection to prevent many people from living their lives fully. Our fear of failure can cause us to put things off. We do everything we can to avoid facing the possibility of messing up. Fear of rejection makes us afraid to do anything that could draw criticism or give someone a chance to laugh at us.

You've failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try!

All of us have those things that intimidate us day after day. Those fears that haunt us and accuse us and make us feel miserable. What does this constant fear do to us? If we are not careful this is what happens when we live in a constant state of fear:

A. We experience lack of enthusiasm. We just know we are going to fail. Life is no longer exciting and purposeful anymore.

B. We have unfocused thoughts. All we can think about is what we fear.

C. We are kept from interacting with others. All we want to do is be alone and deal with it by ourselves.

D. We are kept from getting anything done. All we are consumed with is the fear.

E. We lose our intimacy with God. We see God as having caused this. We see him as being mean to us. Ultimately, we have a choice to be faithful or fearful.

"The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within which endangers him, not the storm without." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin." (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

Conquering fear is not a matter of self determination, it is a matter of recognizing the devils pitiful attempts at crippling you with fear and God's majestic grace in giving you POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND. There is a promise that says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

Let us not allow ourselves to be held as prisoners because of fear!

Adapted from a sermon by Mark Roper as posted on www.SermonCentral.com

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Why I Am So Tired !


For a couple years I've been blaming it on iron poor blood, lack of vitamins, dieting and a dozen other maladies. Now I found out the real reason. I'm tired because I'm overworked.

The population of this country is 330 million. 180 million are retired or too young. That leaves 150 million to do the work.

There are 100 million in school, which leave 50 million to do the work. Of this, there are 31 million employed by the federal government.

This leaves 19 million to do the work.

Four million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 15 million to do the work.

Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Government and that leaves 200,000 to do the work.

There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 11,998 people in Prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me . . . and I'm rambling and you're sitting there reading my dumb ramblings.

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