What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?

Series: Who Moved My Cheese?

Lesson 4 – August 18-24, 2021

AIM:  After studying this series, it is hoped that students will know how to ANTICIPATE change; ADAPT to change quickly; ENJOY change and be READY to change quickly, again and again! 

INTRODUCTION:

WE HATE CHANGE!  We don’t want anything to change!  Other times we want change for the sake of change.   Do you remember the little boy in a commercial awhile back and he said, “the same thing, the same thing, the same thing!”  He was complaining about something (I forget what), but he was tired of the same thing!  And he wanted a change.  Many of us SAY we want change until change comes!  THEN, we discover that it takes too much “effort” to change! Why do we hate change?  Because we don’t know what and where it will lead us.  We are so much like the Little People in the book Who Moved My Cheese?  We are Hem and Haw!  And that is exactly what we do – we hem and haw because we don’t want change!   I will ask again. . .why do we hate change?  We are afraid.  But ask yourself. . .what would I do if I was not afraid? What is holding me back?

Don’t let fear stop you!

  1. Needless Fear

Matthew 14:27-30 (NLT)

27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Change means that we need to. . .

  1. Get out of the boat
  2. Many times, we talk about Peter’s lack of faith, but he got out of the boat!
  3. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus.
  4. We need to know who to call on when things seem to go wrong.                                  

Psalm 40:1 (NKJV) I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.                                                                                                                                                      Psalm 34:15, 17 (NKJV) 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. . . 17The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

Point to Ponder: What is there to fear if Jesus is with us?

Mark 4:35-38 (NLT)

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

Change means that we need to realize that. . .

  1. Storms can and will come into our lives, but
  2. We are in the boat with Jesus!
  3. Even though change may frighten us, remember man’s extremity is God opportunity to work in our lives.

Psalm 116:6 (NLT) The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.

Mark 9:17-18 (NLT) 17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

Acts 12:6 (NLT) The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate.

Nehemiah 6:9-15 (NLT)

 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.  10 Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.” 11 But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!” 12 I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me. 14 Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me. 15 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.

Change means that we will face opposition. . .

  1. Opposition is designed to
  2. Discourage you
  3. Depress you
  4. Test you
  5. Nehemiah teaches us that when opposition comes
  6. Stay focus
  7. Stay faithful
  8. Stay firm

Don’t let worldly cares stop you!

  1. Worldly Cares

 Worldly cares are. . .

  • Profitless

 

Psalm 39:6 (NIV) “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.

Matthew 16:26 (KJV) 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

  • Drives away sleep  

Ecclesiastes 5:12 (NCV)12 Those who work hard sleep in peace; it is not important if they eat little or much. But rich people worry about their wealth and cannot sleep.

Job 7:4 (NCV)When I lie down, I think, ‘How long until I get up?’ The night is long, and I toss until dawn.

  • Mars the peace of home  

Luke 10:40 (NCV) 40 But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.”

  1. Faith Tested
  2. When the cheese moves, our faith get tested!
  3. When the cheese moves, we must move too!
  4. Abraham –  

 

Genesis 12:1-3 (NCV) 12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you.I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.
I will bless those who bless you, and I will place a curse on those who harm you. And all the people on earth will be blessed through you.”

  • Joshua –

Joshua 1:1-5 (NIV) After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Point to Ponder: When life change are we willing to change?                                               

  1. Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

                  Excuses for not looking for new cheese

  1. Familiarity – let’s go back!

Exodus 14:10-12 (MSG) 10-12 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them! They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”

  • Fear of failure

Ø  Faith vs. fear

ü  Faith means trusting Him in the shadows, as well as in the sunshine!

ü  Faith means believing Him when the going gets tough, as well as when the going is easy!

ü  Faith means depending on Him when you don’t understand, as well as when you do!

  • Fear has two meanings:
  • Forget Everything And Run
  • Face Everything And Rise

Point to Ponder: What is your definition of Fear? The choice is yours!

Proverbs 29:25 (NLT)25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

  • Focusing on the physical
  • Too old:
  • Abraham/Sarah
  • Zachary/Elizabeth

Genesis 21:1-5 (NLT) The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. And Abraham named their son Isaac. Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

Luke 1:13,18 (NLT) 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. . . 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

  • Too young:
  • Samuel

1 Samuel 1:23-28 (MSG) 23-24 Elkanah said to his wife, “Do what you think is best. Stay home until you have weaned him. Yes! Let God complete what he has begun!” So she did. She stayed home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. Then she took him up to Shiloh, bringing also the makings of a generous sacrificial meal—a prize bull, flour, and wine. The child was so young to be sent off! 25-28 They first butchered the bull, then brought the child to Eli. Hannah said, “Excuse me, sir. Would you believe that I’m the very woman who was standing before you at this very spot, praying to God? I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.” Then and there, they worshiped God.

  • I Can’t  
  • Moses  

 

Exodus 3:10-11(NCV) 10 So now I am sending you to the king of Egypt. Go! Bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!” 11 But Moses said to God, “I am not a great man! How can I go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:1 (NCV) 1Then Moses answered, “What if the people of Israel do not believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Exodus 4:10, 13 (NIV)10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”            

Exodus 4:10, 13 (NIV)13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

  • Problem too big
  • Goliath

1 Samuel 17:4-7 (NCV) The Philistines had a champion fighter from Gath named Goliath. He was about nine feet, four inches tall. He came out of the Philistine camp with a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of bronze armor that weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He wore bronze protectors on his legs, and he had a bronze spear on his back. The wooden part of his larger spear was like a weaver’s rod, and its blade weighed about fifteen pounds. The officer who carried his shield walked in front of him.

  • Wrong Nationality
  • Canaanite mother

Matthew 15:21-28 (NCV) 21 Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.” 23 But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, “Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting.” 24 Jesus answered, “God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.” 25 Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, “Lord, help me!” 26 Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.” 27 The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked.” And at that moment the woman’s daughter was healed.

Point to Ponder: When will you move on?  What excuse do you have for not looking for new cheese?

Point to Ponder: Can you see the new cheese? When you move you can and will find new cheese.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 
enjoying one moment at a time; 
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will; 
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next. 
Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                         Ask God to give you peace during your seasons of change.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:            Be a source of comfort to those experiencing change by any means necessary.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:                Share with others how the examples Christ demonstrated throughout his life helped you deal with the changes in your life.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:                Changes in income can affect your giving; be consistent just the same.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:                 Realizing that God is the God of all comfort will help you deal any changes that you may be experiencing or may have experienced.

NEXT WEEK’S LESSON: Serving an Unchanging God in These Changing Time

NEXT WEEK’S SERIES: Who Moved My Cheese

NEXT WEEK’S READING: Psalm 102; James 1:17; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6; 1 Kings 8:56; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 8:28-39; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 6:17; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 110:4a; Hebrews 7:21; John 14:3; Mark 11:24; John 3:16; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:16; John 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 1 Corinthians 1:9; Lamentations 3:22-23 6:18;

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