Pantophobia

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antophobia

 

Opening Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

Spiritual Growth Challenge: Pray about your 2022 Time with God and Prepare for 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting beginning on Jan 2nd.

Spiritual Growth - The Word, Worship, Prayer, Living Generously

 

Charlie Brown Video: Charlie Brown was afraid of everything; pantophobia.

 

In this clip of Charlie Brown, fear was a big issue for him. The danger of fear is that it keeps you from seeing Jesus, theGospel, and cripples you from becoming who God wants you to be.

 

Luke 2:8-20

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of theLord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, whois Christ the Lord.12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which theLord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 

The life of an ancient shepherd was a difficult one at best. It was a life for loners who were often treated like a bunch of losers. Shepherds were seen as outsiders, looked down upon, resented, made fun of, and despised by the rest of the community. Their reputation was so bad that they were not permitted to give testimony in a court of law because they were thought to be untrustworthy.

 

With just 2 words, Fear Not, a heavenly encounter transformed individuals who were untrustworthy into people with a testimony.

 

To the TWBC K- 5th graders, this is why “Where did you see Jesus? is so important.” There are so many of you who feel like the shepherds. You're not old enough, tall enough, fast enough, big enough and you feel left out. But when you learn to look for Jesus, he'll appear to you just like the shepherds.

 

Whether you are Charlie Brown or have the reputation of the Shepherds, God's word to you this morning is Fear Not.

Something always happens around this time of year. The pressure to perform and prove is heightened, and if we don’t perform, we have a fear of being a fake.

 

When we do not know who we are or people do not believe in us, it puts fear in us. Instead of coming to Jesus to overcome fear and gain freedom, we overcompensate to prove because of the pressure.

 

Culture demands that we live up to an expectation where we feel like we have to “prove” ourselves.

We feel the Expectation to Prove:

·       I am a good Dad or Mom when every parent just hopes their kids survive.

·       The pressure to be married at a certain age to prove we are normal.

·       As a teenager, it was the expectation to fit in, now we look back at our year books and laugh because what was "In" then was really “Out” all along.

 

When we live in the moment, rather than from identity, the"expectation of proving" drives us to be fake instead of freedom.

 

Further along in Jesus’ life, at the peak of his ministry, those most familiar with him put the greatest pressure to “Prove” who he was to them.

John7:1-5

1After this Jesus went about inGalilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”For not even his brothers believed in him. 

 

To all the K-5th graders in the room, you all have gifts inside of you fromGod. Don’t be pressured by your friends to perform. Your gifts from God are notlike “Show & Tell” in school. They are in your life so others can see Jesus through you.

 

BecauseJesus’ brothers had lived with him, they felt they had the right to put a “Prove” expectation on him.

Be careful because those who are with you can put false expectation son you. And just because they have been with you doesn’t mean they believe in you.

Some of your friends may not always believe in you or be there for you.

 

Anyone who doesn’t believe in you will put expectations of performance on you.

 

When we do not know who we are, we will live in fear of who we aren't. This gives birth to fear of being fake.        

Fraud Fear is the fear that we cannot deliver on what people expect, so we overcompensate to prove our worth by becoming someone we are not.

·       It is the fear that if I don't perform well, it will expose the failure that I feel I already am.

·       It is the fear that even when people compliment us, we twist it and feel it becomes a higher expectation.

·       It is the fear that we will be found out for who we really are and lose the perception people already have.  

·       The fear keeps us spending money on things that we don't even need to be someone we are not.

·       It is the fear that keeps us performing to impress and never having an identity.

·       The fear of being the person in the room must perform because there is a conflict between how you perceive me and the person I am.

 

When we do not know who we are, we will live in fear of who we aren't. Jesus gives us the true Fake Alert for our heart. It is the real test of if we know who we are.

 

So, what is the answer to fear? The same way we started this message is the same answer for you this morning.

There are over 365 references in the scriptures that encourage, command, and inspire to overcome fear.

 

There is a Word from God trying to make its way to you. When you receive the encounter of "Fear Not," it’ll give you the courage to go see the King just as you are.

 

Take a connect card and write a fear on it that you are going to give to Jesus.