trusting God

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.