Not fearing failure

It lurks in our heads.  The fear of failure.  Sometimes it is not even as clear as a fear.  A pessimism about possibilites that tamps down enthusiasm like water on a fire.  Faith is the cure.  Not skin faith, only heart faith will do.  Faith that prays “for Thine is the KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY with a confident shout!   Faith that looks at the power of God rather than the size of the giant.  Faith that is the “assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11) because it believes that “God is able”( Ephesians 3 ).   On Sunday at FBC we will study John 12.  It is the inspiring story of the Lord yielding His life to the cross with the expectation of MUCH fruit.  He does not expect some fruit.  He expects MUCH.  He does not fear failure–not even the possibility.  Today, as I pray His words, I’m asking Him to give me His fearless heart.

The outward impulse

On Wednesday nights at FBC, we have been studying the book of Acts.  Remarkable picture of the early church.  Pure Christianity!  I have been impressed by the outward impulse of the Spirit’s filling.  Frequently, the first indication that a person was filled with God’s spirit was a boldness and energy to speak to others, to impact others, to escape the boundaries of private religion and make a difference is someone else’s life.  It is what Jesus predicted in John 7:38, “From his innermost being shall FLOW rivers of living water”.  Perhaps prayer is training and preparation for such an experience.  If we pray, sincerely, for OUR bread and OUR forgiveness, eventually our outlook will change from me to us.  If we pray, sincerely, for needs outside of ourselves, then gradually we become more ready to hear and participate when the Spirit calls us to do more than pray.  What a sweet gift from God!  Praying and learning the outward impulse of love.

Choosing the Best

I hope you are reading John 12. ( The “Re Verse” design for Bible Study is one of the things about FBC that I really appreciate.)  In this week’s chapter, we see the hard work that prayer often is.  In verse 27, Jesus says, “Father, save me from this hour”.  (NIV makes it a question.  I think a statement is a better translation.  Similar to Jesus in the Garden when his first prayer was “let this cup pass from me”.) It is understandable that all of us want to avoid pain when we can.  However, the Lord knew immediately that the better prayer was, “Father, glorify your name”.  I’ve been there.  Have you?  The first thing you feel/want is NOT the best thing.  The higher aspiration can only be born as you set aside the lower.  Prayer, including the honest use of the Lord’s Prayer, is hard work.  It requires me to choose the best, even when my first desire if something else.

Children of light

I hope you are reading John 12.  It will be the text for worship and Sunday School this coming Sunday at FBC.  Jesus speaks, first, about “walking in the light” (vs 35). Then He speaks about becoming “children of light”(vs 36).  The first is a case by case obedience.  As He gives us grace to see His will, we move forward into it.  We walk!  One of Mary’s early lessons re. her son was, “Whatever He tells you to do, do it” (John 2).  The second phrase in John 12 is something different.  To become a child of light is to have your whole character and direction shaped by the will of God.  It is not case by case, it becomes your character.  Interesting.  Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer we call God our Father.  I wonder how often we consider whether we are becoming  His children.  “To them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)