Thursday, 03 March 2016 07:49

Pastor's Perspective by Trip Healey, Ridge Church

Written by  Trip Healey
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  Bringing Showy Home

 

Here I anxiously sit in a hotel room in Guangzhou, China, halfway around the world from everything familiar, waiting to meet my daughter for the first time, and I had this thought, “As Christians, what do we have to fear?”

 

Let’s face it. We struggle with the unknown and unexpected. Even Christians who claim to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe are often crippled and controlled by the fear of “what if.”

 

What if the economy tanks? What if guns get “controlled?” What if terrorists attack? What if the border doesn’t get protected? What if social security isn’t so secure? What if healthcare doesn’t get reformed? What if religious freedom comes to an end?

 

For the unbeliever, these are legitimate concerns. But for a person who has placed his faith in Jesus, fear doesn’t make any sense. Fear should not characterize a follower of Jesus, because it neutralizes us from fully living in faith.

 

Consider one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture. King David wrote the 23rd Psalm as a reflection of his relationship with God. He uses two analogies to paint an incredible picture.

 

In verses 1-4, David describes God as a shepherd who loves and cares for his sheep. David is saying, “God, you are my provider. You are always with me. What do I have to fear?”

 

Then in verses 5-6, David switches gears as if to say, “But God is more than just a provider, who cares for my needs and keeps me safe. God is like a host who honors me as a guest in his own home! And he has prepared a feast of contentment in the midst of even the darkest circumstances. What do I have to fear?”

 

What’s even more incredible to consider is that David was expressing this kind of unbridled confidence in God more than a thousand years before Jesus came. He was unaware that God would put on flesh, refer to himself as the Good Shepherd, and then make the ultimate sacrifice in order to offer salvation to a broken world.

 

In John 10:11, Jesus himself says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus was foreshadowing what was about to come to pass. And now you and I have the complete picture when we step into a relationship with Jesus.

 

• He is my provider.

• He is always with me.

• He has invited me to dine at his table of peace and contentment.

• He gave me life by giving up his.

 

So honestly, Christians, what do you have to fear? Better still, can you imagine what would happen if Christians actually began to express their faith in this way and live without fear?

When Christians begin to live   fearless…

 

• We become extremely generous, because we don’t fear loss.

• We share our faith, because we don’t fear humiliation.

• We serve in the mission field, because we don’t fear discomfort.

• We go into ministry, because we don’t fear inadequacy.

• We vote out of responsibility, not because we fear that the wrong person is going to get elected.

 

And then one more, which has been the biggest point of fear for my wife Rebecca and I. When Christians begin to live fearless, we open our homes to those who can’t help themselves, because we don’t fear disrupting our lives.

 

In May of 2015, Rebecca simply texted me a picture of an orphan from China. At that point, we didn’t have any plans of adopting, fostering or growing our family in any way. Yet without hesitation, I wrote back, “What do we have to do to make her ours?” We immediately began the process of adoption through “Lifeline” (www.lifelinechild.org), and now here we are! I am ready to hold my daughter. Her name is Showy. She’s eight years old and has Down syndrome.

 

Our lives are about to get crazy and, even after all the training, we don’t really know what to expect. But I can assure you, we are not going to be controlled by our fear of the unknown. Bringing Showy home is a fearless expression of who God is and what he has already done for us.

 

This Easter, ask yourself this question: What can I do to boldly embrace my faith and live without fear?

 

Trip Healey is the lead pastor of Ridge Church, a non-denominational church which currently meets at the Wetumpka YMCA (200 Red Eagle Dr) at 9:00am & 10:45am every Sunday. To connect with Ridge Church:

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website: www.ridgechurch.com

Twitter: @RidgeChurchAL

Facebook: /RidgeChurchAL

 

Last modified on Thursday, 03 March 2016 08:00
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