So this is something a little different, I've been asked to teach this Friday night at my local youth group. We're reading through What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper. This week is Chapter 15 Do Not Be Anxious About The Threats Of Man, and I'm posting my lesson outline here for you all to read. I hope it is as encouraging to you as it was for me .
(You can also be my guinea pigs and tell me if it makes any sense !!!!!!)
The two passages I'm teaching from are...
"And you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over do not worry about how or what you are to say, for it will be given to you in that hour what you are to say."
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul*, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you have heard whispered into your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from you Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows."
*Beelzebul : The Philistine deity associated with satanic idolatry.
John Piper says of this command, "It is especially relevant in our day as the likelihood increases that tolerance will hold sway for everyone except the person who claims that everyone must give allegiance to Jesus."
The three repetitions of 'do not fear' in Matthew 10:24-31 makes it quite clear that God isn't just sending us out to proclaim His glory and not giving us a second thought. But, as John Piper puts it, "He is close enough to separate one hair from another and give each a number. Fear not; he is close."
Jesus says in Matthew 10:27, "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in you ear, proclaim upon the housetops."
He is reassuring us that even though speaking clearly and openly about God's truth may cost us our favor among men, so much so that we lose our lives, (Matthew 10:25b "...If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household."), but, Jesus says in Matthew 10:26, "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known."
It is God's truth and those who believe and proclaim it, (walk the walk and talk the talk), that will stand in the end.
We are to expect this persecution, it is a sign that we belong to him. I think that is why Christians who are greatly persecuted in the eastern world are so happy. They look at it with such a different view, because they know their persecution, in part, ties them so strongly to Jesus.
In Matthew 10:28 Jesus says, "...do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul." John Piper translates this as, "But don't fear what man can do to you. All he can do is dispatch your soul to paradise. Fear not."
The last bit of motivation Jesus gives us in this passage is how important we are to God.
Matthew 10:29 & 31 says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the Father...So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."
The events in our lives from the most minute to the most life changing are governed by God's will, this is embodied in a quote by Henry Martyn, "If God has work for me to do, I cannot die."
In closing John Piper says this, "Love the truth, therefore, and what you learn from Jesus in the solitude speak from the housetops. And do not fear the face of any man."
These are a couple of the songs I was listening to while writing this ...
Brandon Heath -- Give Me Your Eyes
Hillsong -- Mighty To Save
2 days ago