fear

WE >ME

We > Me. It sounds counterintuitive. After all, this is the age of the maverick, the startup, and the brand called YOU.  But the greatest, most fulfilled people know it’s never about you. It is always about the mission that is bigger than you. The trouble with always searching to find yourself, work on what makes you happy, and communicate your ideas and abilities is that you spend too much time looking in the mirror rather than at the world. True, Jesus-style fulfillment requires you to flip that logic on its head. We > merevolves around teamwork to serve the world for which Jesus came. WE > Me--it’s who WE are.


We say things like “I’ll handle it.” “I’ll make it work.” We love to feel like we’re the hero, the hinge on which things move. Truth be told, God never planned for us to “handle it”, or to “work it out.”  He wants us to work with him. He is committed to our future, and WE is definitely greater than ME. He has given us a mission—and it will never be accomplished by a solitary hero. It is a joint mission of monumental proportions. We—so much greater than ME--the only way for fulfillment. 

Message Notes

Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
Romand 12:5b

I need others to walk with me.

Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him...
Colossians 2:6-7

It is not good for man to be alone.
Genesis 2:18

Let us not give up the habit of meeting together…Instead, let us encourage one another.
Hebrews 10:25

It is safer, supportive, and smarter.

WE > ME because it is God’s answer to loneliness.

I need others to work with me.

God made us to do good works, which He planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.
Ephesians 2:10

Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

Every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:10

WE > ME because it is God’s answer to fatigue.

I need others to watch out for me.

Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.
Philippians 2:4

Keep being concerned about each other as the Lord's followers should.
Hebrews 13:1

If one person falls, another can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.
Ecclesiastes 4:10

WE > ME because it is God’s answer to defeat.

I need others to wait and weep with me.

You should be like one big family, full of sympathy toward each other...
I Peter 3:8a

If one member suffers, all suffer together.
I Corinthians 12:26

Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15

Encourage each other and strengthen one another.
I Thessalonians 5:11

WE > ME because it is God’s answer to despair.

I need others to witness with me.

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
John 13:35

The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.
II Timothy 1:7

...You are working together and struggling side by side to get others to believe the Good News.
Philippians 1:27b

WE > ME because it is God’s answer to fear.


Good Will Towards Men | Goodwill When I am Afraid of Where I Stand with God

The angels announced it: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men!”

Goodwill means favor and kindness, and the Infant in the manger was the bridge of favor and kindness between God and man. The Christ Child grew to truly be the Savior of the world, the tangible and literal expression of God’s favor to us.

In the moments we feel most insecure, confused, or needy, through Jesus we can experience the kindness of God. In our moments of joy, he rejoices with us. He is God’s Goodwill toward men.

Shepherds stayed out on the hillside and spent much of their lives away from the most respectable people. Though their work was honest enough, it was humble, dirty, and disrespected. They were lowly and unable to fulfill the religious rules of the day, so they were rejected by the religious leaders. Everything and everyone seemed better, cleaner, moreworthy than them. They felt continually inadequate. If they didn’t measure up to ordinary people, how could they ever measure up to a holy God’s standards?

Ever feel that way? Ever compare yourself to others and come up continually lacking? If so, you probably have some concerns about where you stand with God, too. You need to understand how goodwill works for you.

Message Notes

In honest moments, we all consider where we stand with God.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified,but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”
Luke 2:8-11

The shepherds where afraid of where they stood with God because they felt unworthy.

The shepherds were afraid of where they stood with God because they felt inadequate.

The shepherds were afraid of where they stood with God because they felt alone, even unloved.

Religion will always make us feel that way.

Relationship is why Jesus came.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 3:22-24

Religion says do. Relationship says done.

Bottom Line

Everyone needs a savior.

Action Steps

  1. If Jesus is not your Savior yet, commit to him today.

  2. Look for a “shepherd” who doesn’t know where they stand with God to invite to church next weekend. Make it an invitation they can’t resist.

Goodwill Towards Men | Good Will When I Am Afraid of What God is Asking Me to Do

The angels announced it: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men!”

Goodwill means favor and kindness, and the Infant in the manger was the bridge of favor and kindness between God and man. The Christ Child grew to truly be the Savior of the world, the tangible and literal expression of God’s favor to us.

In the moments we feel most insecure, confused, or needy, through Jesus we can experience the kindness of God. In our moments of joy, he rejoices with us. He is God’s Goodwill toward men.

An angel interrupted a teenage girl named Mary’s world to tell her God had a job for her. The job was so big and incredible that Mary was dazed and confused. She was afraid. But as she decided to respond in obedience despite her fear, she discovered that God was looking on her with favor. The interruption was actually God’s invitation to experience his goodwill. Out of this came significance she never could have imagined.

Message Notes

Why are we so often afraid of God’s plans?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
II Timothy 1:7

Because his interruptions are often inconvenient.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!”
Luke 1:26-29

Because his purpose is often so different than our plans.

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israelforever; his Kingdom will never end!
Luke 1:31-33

“But how can this happen?”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.For the word of God will never fail.”

God says. “Outcome is my responsibility. Obedience is your responsibility.”

Mary chose faith over fear.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”
Luke 1:38

God is going to interrupt you with an invitation for an inconvenient opportunity to be a part of a really big plan and purpose.

God takes full responsibility for a life completely surrendered to him.

Bottom Line

Outcome is God’s responsibility. Obedience is mine.

Action Step

  1. Identify an area of opportunity/invitation that looks frightening to you.

  2. Pray and ask God for insight on how this is actually his goodwill and to you.

Finding Freedom | Get Up and Go

No one was born to be a slave. Yet slavery takes many forms, and oppression has many flavors. We all have experienced it. It can take only a moment to set a slave free from a slave owner, but years to get the slavery out of the person. Turns out, freedom is a long term work, and it comes from the inside out. Jesus has created a way for us to be truly free. Outside and in. You can find freedom from all that enslaves you

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Moses and the people of Israel tried everything else first before they got the courage to head for freedom. We find ourselves in the same position. But our freedom depends on us wanting to be free deeply enough that we trust God to meet us as we go.

Message Notes

Moses and the people of Israel tried everything else first before they got the courage to head for freedom. We find ourselves in the same position. But our freedom depends on us wanting to be free deeply enough that we trust God to meet us as we go.

The strategy God chooses to use every single time he invites us to confront our bullies is whatever we have.

Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” Exodus 4:2

Confrontation is key to freedom.

Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go…’”Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lordand I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1-2

You’ll be tempted to choose compromise over confrontation.

Exodus 5:19-23

Fear is the currency of oppression. If you participate in fear, you will either oppress or be oppressed.

Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today.” Exodus 14:13

The only thing that will drive out fear is perfect love.

Perfect love drives out fear. I John 4:18

You will only get up and go to freedom when you believe God will be with you.

God answered, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12

Bottom Line

Coming to the end of ourselves is the first step to freedom—don’t be afraid.

Action Steps

  1. Are you in a situation where there is seemingly no good way out of the mess? Are you stuck? Are you working outside your ability to pull off goals and control situations? Name them.

  2. What do you fear? Name it.

  3. Get up and GO. Actually give an invitation.