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Vital signs- Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

Fear of Inadequacy (Luke 1:12-13)—Zacharias and Elizabeth were just too old, too competent in their profession, too planned for their twilight years to take on this new venture, calling, paradigm…this wild at heart John the Baptist baby who would “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children" (Luke 1:17).

Fear of Intimidation (Luke 1:30, 74)—Teenager Mary knew what it meant for her to be pregnant out of wedlock in her day and culture. She had seen and heard the voices of mockery and shame that had intimidated and marginalized others in her day. Who would believe her dream and visitation, and how would this affect the most important person in her life, Joseph?

Fear of Insignificance (Luke 2:9-10)—Shepherds don’t count for much in any culture. Out in the hill country, they could see the glow of the city where the VIPs lived their lives in significant busyness while they followed generations of sheep trails by day and quietly star gazed by night. Seems like the same old purposeless driven life until they heard that tailor-made, just-for-them Word, “unto you this day...” Did they wonder, "are you really talking to me"?

Fear of Indecisiveness (Matthew 1:20)—Joseph’s mind and heart were a battlefield of emotional and mental contradictions. Every decision was a lose/lose. Like so many indecisive men through the ages, he felt he was caught in a double bind with no way out. Even not making a public example of Mary left him numb. He feared the consequences of every decision that his mind paraded before him.

I declare freedom from fear this Christmas more than any you have experienced. You are adequate because “He who began a good work in you” is faithful to complete it. You are confident because “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” You are significant because You have a unique design, purpose, passion, and destiny. You are single-minded because “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Here is your gift. Why not open it now so you can serve others and set the captives free from fear, one conversation at a time?

Pray with me:

Lord, we thank you that we sing, “I’m no longer a slave to fear/I am a child of God” because God has come as the virgin-born Son into our world. We sense the angels of the Christmas Story are declaring to us this Advent season that we can be freedom fighters for those around us who are burdened with the fears of inadequacy, intimidation, insignificance, and indecisiveness. Let them see a greater measure of power, love, and a sound mind in each of us this Christmas season. Let Bethlehem birth in and through us the full confidence of the great hymn that reverberates through our church: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”

Read Luke Chapter 6Today

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