living in fear
What encouragement does Paul give Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5-14?
How often do you put the needs of others above your own? What would you say you truly love? What do you live for?
The subtitle under Genesis 26 in my Bible reads: “Isaac Deceives Abimelech.” Pardon my irreverence, but it might just as well have read: “Isaac Nearly Pimps His Wife.”
Isaac is such a patriarch of the faith that he makes the final cut when we speak of “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Yet at a time when he should have been protecting his gorgeous bride, Rebekah, Isaac cowered behind her in fear.
Isaac was new in town. When the men of Gerar inquired about Rebekah, Isaac basically said, “Her? Yeah, she’s my sister.” The Genesis account says, “He thought, ‘They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful’” (Genesis 26:7). Eventually the king of the Philistines stepped in to defend Rebekah, but not before saying indignantly: “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin” (Genesis 26:10).
Fear can cause us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. It can paralyze us into inaction or induce us to sacrifice those closest to us. It entices us to violate our core values. Ever lie to protect yourself? Yeah, me too.
So what are we to do with our fear? Putting the needs of others ahead of our own is a good place to start. The apostle John outlined a pattern for conquering fear. It starts with love. “This is real love,” he wrote, “[that God] sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10). He added, “Since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other” (1 John 4:11). The triumphant conclusion: “Perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:18).
Sometimes love really is the answer.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Daniel 6:1-28
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