Fear and Fearfulness

Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’”—Daniel 1:9–10 (NIV)

Did you know there’s a difference between fear and fearfulness? On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference, right? But when you peel back the layers and dive a little deeper, you discover there’s actually a huge difference.

You see, fear is the visceral, raw, instinctual, and natural emotion we feel when threatened or under duress. It’s a reaction to perceived danger. Everyone feels fear; it’s completely natural and unavoidable. And it’s something that comes in a moment and can be overcome, dispelled, and cast out.

Fearfulness is the state in which we linger in fear and allow fear to dominate and consume our lives. It takes the natural emotional response and turns it into a lifestyle. Fear is a feeling; fearfulness is a mindset.

In today’s verse, we see the administrator over Daniel operating out of a state of fearfulness. He was fearful of his reputation, his status, and his life. He lived in a constant state of fear, particularly as it pertained to King Nebuchadnezzar.

And truthfully, friends (and I say this with gentleness and a delicate heart) . . . non-believers have cause for operating out of a state of fearfulness. Why? They have no hope, no confident assurance, no security or peace to cling to, walk in, and rest on. They have no power to draw strength from and no foundation to stand strong in. But contrast the modus operandi of this official with that of Daniel and his friends (Daniel 3:16–18; 6:10–16). You see the difference? Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego had a true and living hope because they had put their trust in the true and living God. They may have experienced fear of a fiery death and being locked in a hole with ferocious beasts, but they didn’t operate from an attitude of anxiety or fester in fearfulness.

2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB) tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” And Romans 8:15 (ESV) declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” And let us not forget 1 John 4:18 (NIV), which says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

So, friends, as believers we don’t have to live in a constant state of fearfulness. We can live in victory and freedom. We can cast out fear and overcome anxiety by the power of the Holy Spirit as we let our roots go down deeper into Him and our faith is built up strong upon Him.

DIG: What’s the difference between fear and fearfulness?

DISCOVER: How have you seen this to be true in your life?

DO: If you are struggling with anxiety and fearfulness, know that there is hope for you and that you can overcome this. Today, I encourage you to pray about what your next steps should be—speaking to a pastor, seeking biblical counseling, etc.) There is no shame in this. There is nothing wrong with you. Freedom is waiting.

https://calvaryftl.org/article/1642/

When My Wife Told Me She Didn’t Love Me Anymore

My wife of 10 years told me she didn’t love me anymore. She had little hope that her feelings could be rekindled. Fear and regret gripped my heart. It choked out all hope that my marriage would survive.

Maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me. Because six months in, she admitted she couldn’t think of a thing she liked about me. But still. That was newlywed stuff that we resolved long ago.

How did we get here?

The week before, I would have said our marriage was a 10 out of 10. On that fateful anniversary celebration, she told me that in her mind our marriage was a .5!

How could I be so clueless to the deadness of my wife’s heart?

Ever been there?

I was determined to win her back and get her number higher. I was on a mission.

My first step was going to God. I started our marriage making sure He was first in my life, but somewhere along the way, I left Him in the dust … along with my young wife.

I had put all my energy into starting a church. And I poured myself into Detroit Lions players as their chaplain. My sole focus was on fulfilling my dreams.

But I didn’t realize at the time that building the future would be pointless if God and Ann weren’t by my side. Somehow our dreams had become my dreams.

“God, I put you back in first place,” I said. “That’s where You belong. I need Your wisdom, guidance, and help to win back Ann’s heart!”

I asked Jesus for power and He delivered.

Jesus tells some of His followers who had lost their first love to “Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5, NIV). The word repent means to change the way you are living and start a brand-new life. Jesus makes it real clear what this new life looks like. He says to go back to what made you fall in love in the first place.

If you want the love you once had, do the things you once did.

I wasn’t pursuing Ann like I had when we first fell in love. I was pursuing my career and left Ann behind.

So I started dating her again … weekly. Yes, it’s possible. Whatever is really important to us shows up on our calendar. I realized that I could conquer the world. But if my wife didn’t love me, then I’ve accomplished nothing of true value.

To regain our love, I started pursuing her again like when we first fell in love. We dated before we were married, so why not date after? Its what couples in love do.

I rediscovered that Ann spells love this way: T-I-M-E. She feels loved when I consistently make time for her.

So I simply made her a top priority. And priorities come “prior” to everything else.

And, man, did that start to rekindle her feelings for me!

CONNECT DEEPER IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VERTICAL MARRIAGE SMALL GROUP STUDY!

Talk

And guess what she wanted to do on those dates?

You guessed it … talk.

Now she didn’t just want to talk about life or the kids. She wanted to talk about our marriage. She longed to talk in depth about us.

Not exactly my dream date, but it wasn’t about me. It was about her feeling loved. So if she wants to talk about us, then I’m all in.

And guys, I discovered something fascinating about women. They don’t want us to fix their problems. I remember one time Ann began sharing how hard her days were as a mom with young kids. She felt that she never accomplished anything and was exhausted day after day.

I listened for a minute and then went away for a few moments to figure out how to help her. I came back with a note that I had written.

As I handed it to her, I could see her excitement. I found out later that she thought I had written her an encouraging love note about how much I loved her and appreciated all she did for our family. Instead, she found that I had written down 10 steps to a “more organized and productive life as a mom.”

I’m not kidding.

I actually wrote those down and told her I had prayed and God gave me those for her. She promptly ripped up my 10 tips, threw them in my face, and marched out of the room yelling, “And that was not from God!

Needless to say, I’ve learned she doesn’t want me to solve her problems but to be her partner in the middle of those problems. Just let her vent and step into the mess with her. That makes her feel loved. Who knew?

And here is a question that I began to ask on our dates, “On a scale of one to 10, what is our marriage right now?” I knew that she knew better than I did how we were doing and that she also knew how to get us to a higher number.

I’m a competitive guy, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get our marriage closer to a 10.

Touch

I also discovered that Ann feels loved when I touch her. The bummer for me was that she wasn’t talking about sexual touch, but non-sexual touch.

What in the world is non-sexual touch?

In a word, its affection. Holding her hand. Putting my arm around her shoulders. Rubbing her back (and only her back).

I did all of those things when we were dating, yet the only time I touched Ann after marriage was when I wanted sex. That does not make a woman feel cherished.

Ann felt loved when I made time to talk and touch in an affectionate and tender way.

Truth

But there’s one more big action that brought her love back. When we were dating, I consistently initiated reading the truth of God’s Word together. We would pray on every date.

After marriage, I just got lazy. I led our congregation spiritually but was lazy at home.

When I began to pray daily with Ann, her feelings for me started to return.

I remember one evening as we finished praying, I looked over at Ann and she had this glint in her eye. She then grabbed my arm and said, “I want you to know that praying with me each night is the sexiest thing you could do for me.”

I said, “Do you mean sexy like I think you mean?” She just gave me a little wink.

It was right then and there that I decided that if this is how it works for my woman, then I’m going to become the most spiritual man you have ever met!

Oh … and she also said we were back to a 9.8!


Adapted from Vertical Marriage copyright © 2019 by Dave and Ann Wilson. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

Connect deeper in your own relationship with the new Vertical Marriage small group study! Dave and Ann Wilson share more of their marriage redemption story along with practical, bible-based insight in this 5 week video series. It’s simple, transparent, and fun. Use it by yourself or connect and grow with others in a small group. Learn more!

Dr. Dobson’s Married Couples Devotional – Jan. 13

WEEK SEVENTEEN – Will You Forgive Me?

“The Face of MEnemy
by Corrie ten Boom

It was in a church in Munich that I saw him—a balding, heavy‐set man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken and moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear. The year was 1947, and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.

This was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed‐out land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a Hollander’s mind, I liked to think that that’s where forgiven sins were thrown. “When we confess our sins,” I said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says, ‘NO FISHING ALLOWED.’”

The solemn faces stared back at me, not quite daring to believe. There were never questions after a talk in Germany in 1947. People stood up in silence, collected their wraps in silence, left the room in silence.

And that’s when I saw him working his way forward against the oth‐ers. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie, how thin you were!

The place was Ravensbruck, and the man who was making his way forward had been a guard—one of the cruelest guards.

Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: “A fine message, Fräu‐lein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bot‐tom of the sea!”

And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?

But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face‐to‐face with one of my captors, and my blood seemed to freeze. “You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,” he was saying. “I was a guard there.” No, he did not remember me. “But since that time,” he went on, “I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein”—again the hand came out—“will you forgive me?”

And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again needed to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow, terrible death simply by the asking?

It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.

For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. “If you do not forgive men their trespasses,” Jesus says, “neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses.”

I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were also able to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and horrible as that.

And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that, too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. Jesus, help me! I prayed silently. I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.

So, woodenly and mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, and sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

“I forgive you, brother!” I cried. “With all my heart.”

For a long moment, we grasped each other’s hands—the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then. But even so, I realized it was not my love. I had tried and did not have the power. It was the power of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Romans 5:5: “Because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

LOOKING AHEAD . . .

I can’t imagine any situation or circumstance in which the obligation to forgive would be more difficult than the one Corrie faced. She had lived with routine murder, humiliation, cruelty, and starvation at the hands of the man who now faced her. Every natural impulse—every angry emotion—would cry out for revenge against her former tormentor. She still carried with her the images of her father, emaciated sister, and other family members who died at the hands of the Nazis. I wonder if I could have had the moral strength to forgive this guard and release the passion for revenge and retribution. Yet, Corrie ten Boom was able to do just that and thereby show the world what Jesus meant by His commandment to “turn the other cheek.”

Here’s the question of the hour: If Corrie ten Boom could forgive her captors—and if Jesus could forgive the Roman soldiers and you and me for killing Him on the cross—can’t we find it in our hearts to forgive the mistakes and hurtful actions of our imperfect mate? We absolutely must, or we’ll become pathetic invalids trapped by bitterness and hate.
– James C Dobson

• “The Face of My Enemy” by Corrie ten Boom. Taken from The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. Used by permission of Chosen Books LLC, Chappaqua, N.Y.

Listen to today’s broadcast of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk at OnePlace.com.  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at drjamesdobson.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for CouplesCopyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

Infants in Christ

HARVEST GREGLAURIE DEVOTIONAL.jpg
Monday, January 13, 2020

LISTEN  

“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ.”

—1 Corinthians 3:1

Babies are so cute, and I think newborns are really amazing. But you have to feed them and care for them. You need to watch them carefully and change their diapers. And when they get a little older and start toddling around, you need to keep an eye on them so they won’t get into trouble.

When they can finally start eating solid food, you have to cut it up for them. Then you make airplane noises with it to entertain them and convince them to take a bite.

You have to care for children, watch over them, and keep your eye on them. And that’s okay, because they need you to help them grow up.

In the same way, when we first come to Christ, we need lots of care. We need the milk of God’s Word. We need everything we hear from the Bible to be cut up into small bites in a way we can digest. We need people to explain things to us and watch over us.

But if you’ve known the Lord for a long period of time and haven’t matured, if you haven’t developed basic disciplines as a Christian and need everything spoon-fed to you, then we have a problem.

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth about this. He said, “Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1 NLT).

When I was in school, I goofed off a lot. And on more than one occasion, I heard a teacher say, “Greg Laurie, will you just grow up?” I think some of us need to hear that today. It’s time to grow up.

Weirds Are Word

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Miranda J. Chivers

Christian Author and Writer

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مدونة شخصية عامة تهتم بالشأن السوري

Weirds Are Word

A word a day challenge showcased from my vision. Words are a prize, ready to be lifted from the soul!

METEOR CREATION, and some other things😁❤️

#meteor #other # #scifi #romance

Miranda J. Chivers

Christian Author and Writer

Www.shwiesh.comاسم الموقع

مدونة شخصية عامة تهتم بالشأن السوري

Just Say Cheese

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JOHN'S PIX: Pictures (great) by my old friend John ("Jet")

"Taken from the portfolio of an unappreciated , unsung genius photographer: Whose constantly brilliant world class works go unheralded , unnoticed , for far too long... etc,,,,," : And this web site was created and shared by "the world's absolutely worst photographer...and the fourth worst writer".

Victoria's blog

Welcome to my very ameture blog!

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Weirds Are Word

A word a day challenge showcased from my vision. Words are a prize, ready to be lifted from the soul!

METEOR CREATION, and some other things😁❤️

#meteor #other # #scifi #romance

Miranda J. Chivers

Christian Author and Writer

Www.shwiesh.comاسم الموقع

مدونة شخصية عامة تهتم بالشأن السوري

Just Say Cheese

Fixing the Pixels

JOHN'S PIX: Pictures (great) by my old friend John ("Jet")

"Taken from the portfolio of an unappreciated , unsung genius photographer: Whose constantly brilliant world class works go unheralded , unnoticed , for far too long... etc,,,,," : And this web site was created and shared by "the world's absolutely worst photographer...and the fourth worst writer".

Victoria's blog

Welcome to my very ameture blog!

FunWritings

Where Adults Can easily Tell the Children about Environmental Care and Plan for a Bright Future

Sharing Some Thoughts on Jesus Christ

Encouragement, Motivation and Inspiration through Christ: “We don’t find Jesus – He finds us.”

Sound Of Heaven

This is the day that the Lord has made!

Walt's Writings

Poetry about Life, Love, Music by Walt Page, The Tennessee Poet

The other side to the knowns

Write what you feel, coz it doesn't make you fear

Stephen Nielsen

My life story, my work, my views, my interests, my writing, my struggles.

Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

because Grace wins everytime

Holly K. Ross- Writer

Islander by Choice- Writing, Gardening, Island Living

VIHAAN

BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA

M's Movies Review

We talk Movies.

Weirds Are Word

A word a day challenge showcased from my vision. Words are a prize, ready to be lifted from the soul!

METEOR CREATION, and some other things😁❤️

#meteor #other # #scifi #romance

Miranda J. Chivers

Christian Author and Writer

Www.shwiesh.comاسم الموقع

مدونة شخصية عامة تهتم بالشأن السوري

Just Say Cheese

Fixing the Pixels

JOHN'S PIX: Pictures (great) by my old friend John ("Jet")

"Taken from the portfolio of an unappreciated , unsung genius photographer: Whose constantly brilliant world class works go unheralded , unnoticed , for far too long... etc,,,,," : And this web site was created and shared by "the world's absolutely worst photographer...and the fourth worst writer".

Victoria's blog

Welcome to my very ameture blog!

FunWritings

Where Adults Can easily Tell the Children about Environmental Care and Plan for a Bright Future

Sharing Some Thoughts on Jesus Christ

Encouragement, Motivation and Inspiration through Christ: “We don’t find Jesus – He finds us.”

Sound Of Heaven

This is the day that the Lord has made!

Walt's Writings

Poetry about Life, Love, Music by Walt Page, The Tennessee Poet

The other side to the knowns

Write what you feel, coz it doesn't make you fear

Stephen Nielsen

My life story, my work, my views, my interests, my writing, my struggles.

Brave, Blessed, and Beautiful

because Grace wins everytime

Holly K. Ross- Writer

Islander by Choice- Writing, Gardening, Island Living

VIHAAN

BEGINNING OF THE NEW ERA

M's Movies Review

We talk Movies.

Weirds Are Word

A word a day challenge showcased from my vision. Words are a prize, ready to be lifted from the soul!

METEOR CREATION, and some other things😁❤️

#meteor #other # #scifi #romance

Miranda J. Chivers

Christian Author and Writer

Www.shwiesh.comاسم الموقع

مدونة شخصية عامة تهتم بالشأن السوري

Just Say Cheese

Fixing the Pixels

JOHN'S PIX: Pictures (great) by my old friend John ("Jet")

"Taken from the portfolio of an unappreciated , unsung genius photographer: Whose constantly brilliant world class works go unheralded , unnoticed , for far too long... etc,,,,," : And this web site was created and shared by "the world's absolutely worst photographer...and the fourth worst writer".

Victoria's blog

Welcome to my very ameture blog!

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