[CF Devotionals] 2011-09-15 - Reflecting More Perfectly

Isa 41:13 “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you. (NASB)

Do not fear.

Three of my favorite words. They occur with some frequency in the Bible. When God says something it is worth hearing. When God repeats Himself pay even closer attention. Why should we not fear? "I will help you." Amazing words of encouragement to Jacob and to us. God has done the work that needed to be done on our behalf. When he said, "It is finished," on the cross the debt we could never pay was settled forever.

Who is this that promises to help us? "For I am the LORD your God." Who did Jesus say He was in Gethsemane? In John 18:5-6 a Roman cohort and the officers sent by the Jewish leadership arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane. They say they are looking for Jesus the Nazarene and Jesus answers them. "I AM." Note that "he" is in italics. That indicates the word was added by the translators for clarity. When Moses asks the voice in the burning bush who Moses should tell Pharaoh had sent Moses the answer came:

Gen 3:14-15 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (NASB)

When Jesus mentions His name those who came to arrest Him fell backwards like bowling pins. Then Jesus allowed them to take Him away so that His work on our behalf could be completed in His trip to the cross. This is Who promises to help us.

It is not us who hold up our right hand representing authority. God holds up our authority. Isaiah 64:6 tells is that all our best efforts are like filthy clothes. The things that God gives us are our authority. He provides for us the things that we are not capable of doing.

Do not fear.

Paraphrased - I Am, the LORD your GOD, your strength and authority, Who made you and knows your frailty. I don't want you to be fearful. I am here to help you every step of the journey. This is the encouragement we have been given. When we don't feel like we can take another step, fight another battle, even open the door one more time He is there. The Holy Spirit in the Greek is called "paraclete" - one who is called along side to help. He lives within the believer. This is an important facet of the reflection we should be casting. It is so easy to become critical or fearful. When the road gets really tough, He is there. Sometimes we meet another who has been figuratively beaten and left on the side of the road. A kind word of encouragement means more than we know. It may be what turns someone away from suicide. It may be the touch that alters an individuals life course. We may never know. We may only plant the seed someone else will water.

Be the Samaritan of encouragement.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com