This morning it is still overcast and damp looking outside. The sun has not broken through the fog. It is supposed to be a beautiful day, but for now, it is gray. This morning in my prayer and study leads to 1John. It started with K – Loves verse 4:18
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (ESV)
Now as I meditated on this I thought about the world we live in and the 24-hour news cycle and the goal of the adversary and his goal is to inundate us with nothing but fear. And what better tool than the 24-hour news cycle.
And for me fear was the emotion that most often brought about anger, and anger used to lead to a violent response. I thought of Matthew 26:50-54 when they came to take the Lord in the garden…
“50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”
In our nature fear musters one of two responses fight or flight. But love… Love of the Lord overcomes our fear. Our struggles come in letting go of fear and placing our trust in God. I then read 1John 4:7-21 and reflected on the whole passage. The title is “God’s Love”
“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (ESV)
As I read that passage I was a taken by how powerful it was… “God is Love”
As I worked through the passage I saw the truth of what that meant. Without Him, I cannot experience the fullness of love: only an illusion. With Him there are no boundaries if I will simply trust in Him and hold fast to Him.
I went on to read 1 John 5:1-5 as well.
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
I read these verses and I was overwhelmed by the Love of God and the gift of His Son. I was filled with a joy of His Holy Spirit, not because I had yet reached my goal, but because He had given me everything to strive toward the goal. And the glue that holds it together is the Love of God and our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. What joy that brings when we allow that to sink in. To remember that “we love because He first loved us”
But it takes faith and trust in the Lord. I read “Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers this morning and felt this quote fit… (to God be the Glory).
” I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair. But when I am born again by the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach— He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The redemption means that Jesus Christ can place within anyone the same nature that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives us are based on that nature.” Oswald Chambers – “Utmost for His Highest”
I am filled with a thankful heart and I Praise God for His love and mercy!!!