"Now this is what the Lord says -- the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel -- 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.'"
Johnny stepped up to the plate. The bases were loaded with two outs, and his team was down by one run. You could tell he was nervous. How would Johnny respond? STRIKE ONE! He watched it go by. STRIKE TWO. He watched another. STRIKE THREE. The bat never left Johnny's shoulder. Johnny returned to the dugout and was approached by his coach. "You never even took a swing, why not?" Johnny replied, "I thought you would be mad if I struck out swinging."
This happens a lot in sports. Fear grips an athlete. Fear of a coach, fear of failure, fear of losing. . .whatever the fear may be, fear is a factor in sports today, and in life as well.
In many Christian homes across the country, fear is being taught. Not the good kind of respectful fear, but the kind that can make a person timid and afraid. Faith can become so legalistic that fear grips the hearts of young and old. Christ did not come to earth to instill fear, but to give freedom from it. Pastors may preach fear, and parents may instill fear because, after all, being fearful is not necessarily a bad thing. But Christ does not intend for us to live in fear, but to live in the freedom that we can find in Him.
What fear grips your life? Maybe it is the fear of not being forgiven. Maybe it's the fear that God's grace is not enough for you, or the fear that God's love does not include you. Fear not, friends. Just as good coaches do not intend to make their players fearful of them, God also does not intend you to live in fear, but in freedom from sin and death by living for Him. Fear does not need to be a factor in your athletic world or in your life with Christ. Remember, He has called you, and you are His forever.
1. Athletes, are you afraid to compete? Are you afraid of your coach?
2. Coaches, are you afraid of losing? Afraid of administration?
3. Do you have freedom from sin in your life?
4. Today, how can you start to live free from fear as a child of God?