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Far from Oppression

The term fear is mentioned more than 500 times in the Bible. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. When fear is left to linger without confronting, this invisible force can ravage hearts and minds. When ideal conditions are present, oppression is conceived. Oppression is the prolonged cruel and unjust treatment that often debilitate souls.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you,] John 16:33.

While speaking to his disciples, Jesus revealed a plan to be far from oppression. After telling these 12 men that he would be killed, a spirit of fear likely hovered over their minds. Sensing this attack, Jesus comforts these individuals with a promise, sending a counselor following his departure. Encouraging these individuals, Jesus calls for acts of courage, to be undaunted in the face of fear.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection], 1 John 4:18.

Apparently, this message got through to at least one of the disciples. The passage above suggests that you too can be far from oppression if you do not fear. The key is seeing Jesus’ role in conquering fear. Perfect love drives out fear, expelling any traces of terror. As you mature spiritually, fears that once held you down, slide quickly to your side. The ultimate goal is to reach full maturity of love so you steer clear of oppression.

by Jay Mankus

One Another

The pied piper is often a dynamic leader who attracts others to follow his cause and ways.  However, without consistency, these individuals can be abandoned, left for someone or something better.  If there is no one around to inspire you, people tend to fall back into their complacent habits.  Perhaps, this is where you and I fit into God’s puzzle.

The author of Hebrews is a mystery, with a few candidates, but no clear clue to unveil the actual writer.  Nonetheless, this book contains essential instructions for church goers sitting in the pew.  According to Hebrews 10:23-25, one another are placed into a congregation to call other believers to persevere when the going get’s tough.  When a situation appears hopeless, the faithful are encouraged to be a voice of reason, uplifting disappointed souls.

King Solomon thought so highly of this concept, he suggests one another is crucial to overcoming oppression, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

1. One worker can motivate the other to reach their goal for the day, setting the tone for others to follow.

2. A friend can help their mate if one falls down or is tired, picking up the other to press on another day.

3. If lost, two people can endure cold temperatures together, surviving until a search and rescue team arrives.

4. Finally, alone one person can be over powered, but two soldiers can band together to defend themselves.

God designed human being to spur one another on  toward love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24.  In view of this truth, Christians should be inspired to continue meeting together, holding their peers accountable, verse 25.  Without another, all you’re left with is one, separated from the flock with the devil waiting to pounce, 1 Peter 5:8.

by Jay Mankus

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