The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

He was a professional thief. His name stirred fear as the desert wind stirs tumbleweeds. He terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line for thirteen years, roaring like a tornado in and out of the Sierra Nevada’s, spooking the most rugged frontiersmen. In journals from San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier.

During his reign of terror between 1875 and 1883, he is credited with stealing the bags and the breath away from twenty-nine different stagecoach crews. And he did it all without firing a shot.
His weapon was his reputation. His ammunition was intimidation.
A hood hid his face. No victim ever saw him. No artist ever sketched his features. No sheriff could ever track his trail. He never fired a shot or took a hostage. He didn’t have to. His presence was enough to paralyze.

As it turns out, he wasn’t anything to be afraid of, either. When the hood came off, there was nothing to fear. When the authorities finally tracked down the thief, they didn’t find a bloodthirsty bandit from Death Valley; they found a mild-mannered druggist from Decatur, Illinois. The man the papers pictured storming through the mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses he rode to and from his robberies in a buggy. He was Charles E. Boles – the bandit who never once fired a shot, because he never once loaded his gun. Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story; (New York, NY: Bantam, 1977) Page 117

Black Bart. A hooded bandit armed with a deadly weapon. What was his deadly weapon? One word, it was FEAR!

FDR was not wrong when he declared, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

Fear has prevented many Christ followers from experiencing the blessed happiness that Jesus promises in the beatitudes. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow – and other fears are Satan’s tools for sidetracking our lives. Satan’s goal (through fear) is to create a cowardly, joyless soul. He wants you to take your eyes off the mountain peak and settle for the dull existence of the flat lands. If you want to experience the abundant life Jesus came to give you must put your eyes on Jesus and off of fear. Jesus never operated by fear. He moved forward by faith and achieved great things through boldness. Boldly reject fear and embrace Jesus’ presence in your life to give victory even in seemingly impossible circumstances because nothing is impossible with Him.

Sunday we will explore a message titled Fan the Flame based on 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Plan to join us and bring your friends and neighbors to hear this powerful Scripture explained.

Fearlessly following Jesus with you,

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