Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How many times is "Do Not Be Afraid" in the Bible?

I've seen this a couple times on Pinterest. "The words 'do not be afraid' are written in the Bible 365 times. This is a daily reminder from God to live every day being fearless."  
Every time I see it, I think, "I always thought it was so people would stop peeing their pants at having a sword-wielding frightening angel show up on their doorstep. But sure, we can go with yours too."Jo's Facebook Status

My friend unknowingly sent me off on a quest.

dnba research pic  

My short answer to "are there 365 'do not be afraid's' in the Bible" is no

I have long since given up on trying to prove how many times the Bible does or does not say those words, however.  Using the NIV concordance I began going through the Bible and learning from the times God, his Prophets, or his angels told someone "Do not be afraid." I read the verse in context, I searched for understanding how what it could possibly mean for us today, and I have learned so much that has guided me in so many ways.

My long answer now is it doesn't matter. The fact is God does not want us living in fear. He wants us to live in his love and grace, abundantly, standing firm in what we know is true.

I pray that whatever reason has brought  you to search "how many times does the Bible say do not be afraid" that you will know He does say it. And not only that, the Bible addresses a multitude of fears through the different times He says it.

This site is no longer active, but I keep it here as an archive for those of us who may need reminding occasionally.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

The fear of what man can do

Luke 12:4
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body,
And after that can do no more.
Luke 12:7
Indeed, the very hairs of your head
are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows the temptations we will face, and He knows how we will handle them. But He also knows our hearts, our desire to be right with Him, and so we have this encouragement.

God cares for everything in this world; all the animals, the fawn, the whales, the insects. He created everything, and He knows what is going on with it all. Just the same, He knows you. He knows everything about you which you think no one else knows. He knows the hairs on your head, the thoughts in your brain, and the hurts in your heart. In fact, you are more important than anything else he takes care of which depends on him so whole heartedly. Like the sparrows. Yet, we doubt.

When someone accuses us of not walking with God, we fear for our reputation.
When someone tells us to stop talking about God, we fear for our job.
When someone threatens our life, we panic and fear.

And sometimes we allow that fear to change us.

What if we got to the point where we truly accepted God’s path and stopped fearing? Please know this doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what is right, for our next breath, or for whatever God has called us to do. If we fear what man can do we will completely forget what God wants us to do and what He can do. But what if in that moment we remembered whose we are.

Our surety and security comes in the fact that we know God has us. We know God will never leave us. And we know God loves us. More than anything else on this earth, He cares about us. When we can fully learn that then circumstances, situations, threats, and man will have no control over us.

Question 1: Fear of what man can do often freezes us in our steps. Is it possible for you to walk where God wants you to, loving man, but not worrying about man thinks? Can you love God more?

Question 2: Do you believe your surety comes from the knowledge of how much God loves you? Do you believe He has your back so much that you don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks?

Dear Father
Help us to love you best
Help is to not worry
Remind us that death brings us closer to you
But while we are here our job is your will
Thank you Father for the strength
grace
and compassion

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Disciples's fear


luke 12 4 7
The disciples were awed by Jesus’ attitudes towards the Pharisees and the teachers. He did not mince words, and they wondered if they too would fall under his wrath. As they left the home, crowds pushed on them from all sides. One person was barely helped up before another was being stepped on. They were overwhelmed.

Jesus suddenly began speaking to the disciples, right there in the midst of all the chaos. He didn’t bring his wrath, but he did bring warning. He used the Pharisees and teachers of the law as examples of what not to be. They were to be true to their God, themselves, and not fear what anyone could do. But they knew. They knew what man could do for they had seen it. Other rabbi had crossed the Pharisees and had paid dearly for it.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that can do no more.”

And Jesus knew. Jesus knew what each man was up against and what they would face before they went to heaven. He warned them, but he also encouraged them as well. God knew each one of them so well. He loved them and cared for them. They didn’t have to fear God, but if they were going to fear offending man or God, they should fear offending God.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:4,7

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that can do no more. (NIV)
And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.(NKJV)
Dear friends, don’t be afraid of these who want to murder you. They can only kill the body; they have no power over your souls. (TLB)
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot afterward do anything worse.(GNT)

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV)
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!(GNT)
And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.(The Message)
God knows how many hairs you have on your head. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many small birds.(NLV)

Fear is the same Greek word as used for Afraid.

After dinner with the Pharisees and teachers of the law, Jesus speaks to his followers while a crowd listens.

Matthew Henry -
- be not afraid, do not disquiet yourselves with tormenting fears of the power and rage of men.
- Those can do Christ's disciples no real harm, and therefore ought not to be dreaded, who can but kill the body' for they only send that to its rest, and the soul to its joy, the sooner.
- A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, will be satisfying to us when at any time we are in peril, and will encourage us to trust God in the way of duty.

John Gill -
- though he would have them beware of the Pharisees, he would not have them be afraid of them' he would have them know them and avoid their hypocrisy, and guard against it' but not fear them.
- for if the hairs of their heads are as much regarded as sparrows, their persons and their lives must be of more account

Adam Clarke -
- want of faith in the providence and goodness of God is the source of all human inquietudes and fears. He has undertaken to save and defend those to the uttermost who trust in him. His wisdom cannot be surprised, his power cannot be forced, his love cannot forget itself. Man distrusts God, and fears that he is forgotten by him, because he judges God by himself, and he knows that he is apt to forget his maker.

David Guzik -
- we shouldn't fear our persecutors, but have a healthy respect of God that makes us more concerned with obeying Him than any man.
- Those who are persecuted are tempted to give into the feeling that they are worthless and no one cares for them. But someone does care about you, a loving God in heaven.

IVP -
- Even though people are practically crawling over one another to get to Jesus, the disciples should not be fooled by current popularity.
- Jesus is saying the desire to impress can lead to a double life.
- What it all comes down to is a choice of allegiance.