Yesterday I spoke to approximately 1000 folks at the FADAA/FCCMH annual conference.
Yeah – Those are acronyms for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association and the Florida Council for Community Health organization.
Many thanks to those of you who took the time to pray for me; my story of Christ saving my wretched life and delivering me from drugs and alcohol resonated with them and resulted in a thunderous standing ovation, so your prayers were answered.
Someone asked me if I was nervous standing in front of all of those highly educated PHD’s and my answer was, “Not in the least”. It was no different to me than if I’d been talking to my family around the kitchen table and I was completely at ease.
I owe that peace of spirit to the Lord. I have tremendous faith that He will give me the words to say when I’m speaking and that His will shall be done exactly as He desires. I’m no PHD and only know a little redneck, so like Forrest Gump I say, “I ain’t skeered and that’s all I have to say about that!”
In fact I met a fascinating man yesterday prior to the conference and we talked about courage in general. I’m not afraid to die, or much of anything else, (aside from God and His ability to send me to hell forever). I have one “friend” who tells me that I’m not right upstairs” and I have wires crossed in my brain and that is why I think like that.
Hmmm . . . I maintain that I’m normal and no wires are short circuited in my brain. According to my wife and friends that is debatable, but one thing sure my courage, strong faith, and fearless approach to life these days are derived from the Lord Jesus Himself.
I’m reading the book Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle and he describes a phenomenon occurring throughout the Middle East where Jesus appears to various Muslims in dreams and visions. He encourages them to follow Him and leave their Muslim faith. To do so and get caught by the Mullahs and secret police will result in a grisly death of being burned alive, stoned to death, or beheaded, but untold tens of thousands of Muslims are doing just that in spite of that very real threat
A common theme among them is that upon seeing Jesus in their dream or vision a tremendous feeling of love that is far more powerful than anything they’ve ever experienced comes over them, and then they suddenly lose any and all fear. It is not to say that these folks were particularly courageous before this encounter, it is to say that they have now tapped into the power of Jesus and when that happens there is no reason to fear anything anymore.
When we study the Bible we see the same thing over and over. The disciples are the best example that comes to my mind. They ran and hid like scared bunny rabbits when Jesus was taken by the Pharisees for His trial and execution, and one of His most trusted disciples, Peter, even denied knowing Him three times, (something He swore to Jesus he would never do).
After Jesus’s resurrection He appeared to the disciples and afterwards they lost all fear and boldly came out of hiding, and proclaimed the word of God to anyone and everyone. To a disciple they all willingly underwent torture, prison, and martyrdom in the cruelest of ways.
They became fearless!
So what is it that you fear this morning? The results from a medical test, failure at work, (or finding a job), the economy, your love life, the bully down the street, our inept President and his Chicago mafia, or maybe you are afraid to boldly proclaim the Gospel to someone you know.
Lose the fear! To fear is to doubt God’s word, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – “And you will be hated by all because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives”.
If you aren’t particularly a courageous person and you fear death, robbers, various boogey men, and sharing the Gospel, put your faith in God who loves you. The Bible states that even the hairs on your head are numbered and you are very valuable to Him.
I used to be jealous of those folks who’ve actually seen and talked to Jesus in a dream or a vision, but the Bible states, (see below), that those of us who aren’t that fortunate, but believe and put our faith in Him anyway are blessed!
I know my life is blessed and without question it is because of my deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Try it for 90 days. If it doesn’t work out, I’m sure that God will gladly refund your fear and misery.
You are a child of God and He loves you! Don’t ever forget it and your confidence will soar like a southern bald eagle flying over beautiful Honey Lake.
Speaking of which, we have a great church service lined up this Sunday and it is going to be “Mac Daddy-good”. If you don’t go to church and prefer to sleep in on Sunday, then get your butt up this Sunday; it won’t kill you. If you attend church somewhere else, play hooky from your regular church service one Sunday and come refresh your spirit with my friend Kenny Munds this Sunday. Your church will still be there next weekend.
Kenny sings and plays guitar and praises what God has done in his life as few can. It will be a treat and a real blessing for you and your family, and for heaven’s sake bring a friend. That famous finger licking good Honey Lake Resort and Spa Sunday buffet will await you after the service and then take some time with your family and walk around our beautiful campus and enjoy God’s gorgeous creation and refresh your soul.
Have a great weekend, and if you cannot make it to Honey Lake Church this weekend go to church somewhere, renew your faith, and enjoy your bold new found courage courtesy of our Savior!
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”