The Intersection of Hope and Fear

Daniel’s baptism was the perfect exclamation point for the sermon this morning!  As Daniel stood in the baptistry with his arm extended to heaven, I was reminded of Jesus’ baptism, his prayer, the dove, and the proclamation, “This is my son”.  Baptism places us in solidarity with Jesus and everyone who has ever followed him.  It is an awesome expression of faith as we put aside our puny efforts at making life work and surrender to the one who promises to partner with us to move mountains. 

I think I said something in the sermon about hope and fear being emotions.  Upon reflection I would reclassify them as beliefs.  Both are very real (and inescapable by the way).  Both have the power to control our lives in ways that can be good and bad.  When dreams fail and fear takes hold of a person bad things are almost always the result.  The solution, Jesus said, is to put our faith in God. 

May God teach us how to hope again and may God keep us from obeying our fears.  Baptism is a perfect picture of this: we die to old life (the old dreams) and accept Jesus’ resurrection life.  We pledge our lives to follow him come what may.  May we follow him all the way to the cross, trusting God for resurrection.  As the old song says, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come.  His grace has brought me safe thus far; and grace will lead me home.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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One Response to “The Intersection of Hope and Fear”

  1. avatar tommytwotoez says:

    The mood yesterday during worship was electric! Overall, it was just an awesome service and you’re totally right, having Daniel's baptism at the end wrapped things up beautifully.

    I’m trekking through a new book called, “Ruthless Trust,” by Brennan Manning. The author expresses that real trust is developed through joy, pain, ecstasy, and tragedy. The baptism yesterday perfectly fits as our radical transformation within a Christ centered life.

    I loved Mark O’Rear’s words to his soon-to-be son-in-law, that even though we accept Christ into our hearts, there will still always be struggle, but there will also always be God (in more words or less!).

    I’m enjoying your “Through the Eyes of Mark,” series, and am finding it completely enriching. If you’ll permit me I just want to take a moment and thank you for being a thought-provoking mentor! Your sermons are encouraging and our foundation classes are leading our spiritual lives towards a better understanding of Gods faithfulness and how we can further worship the One who first loved us.

    Thank you Byron

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