Sharon’s sermon this week was about Fear vs Love (1 John 4:7-21). She shared an experience when, even though she knew in her head that God loves her, she just really didn’t feel that He did. (Haven’t we all had that experience!) She looked up a verse that talks about God’s love (Rom. 5:8), and realized that God has already proved His love for us–we just need to choose to believe it.
All of our love is but a reflection of God’s love, and our response to it. Perfect love preempts fear. If we could only trust… that God loves us enough to look after us, that He is able to guide our decisions, that He is able to work through the difficult things, and able to work with us in spite of ourselves, etc. we wouldn’t fear. Confronting our fear is a continuous thing, something that is never quite "done", and it takes concentrating on God. As we allow Him to dwell in us (which is done by the Holy Spirit), this becomes possible. And how do we allow God to live in us? As this scripture says, it starts by "confessing" Jesus. In other words, believing in Jesus–that His death was necessary for your relationship with God, that He was powerful enough (because He’s God) to rise from the dead. That only the death of God could accomplish payment for your missing-the-mark of a perfect God (otherwise he’d be paying for his own sins).
Oh, and another way of ensuring that God lives in you, or perhaps a better term is "stirring up the Spirit within" (quote from another verse)–since once you invite Him in, He never leaves you–comes from the scripture that says "God dwells in the praises of His people", which of course is another way of "confessing": praising God.
By the way, we’ve been adding a lot of our own notes to Sharon’s sermon here! ;) So back to a few more quotes from the sermon. If we could only trust God enough, we could get out of the boat and walk on water–do what seems impossible!
She used several quotes from children that were pretty cool, the one we wrote down: "If you want to learn to love better, you should start with someone you hate." :D
We loved the example she used from something she’d read by Catherine Marshall. This person was on a plane going to Cleveland. On one side everything was dark, and on the other side was a beautiful sunset. We can choose to look either at the dark side, or the beautiful side, but no matter what–that plane is still going to get to Cleveland. *big, "aha!" smile*!
EDIT: After posting this, we read this verse–"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isa. 41:10)