Perfect love casts out all fear
S - 1 John 4:16-21 (NASB)
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in 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, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one 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, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
O - The perfection of love in us all precedes from God, and is made possible through Christ. John does a great job in this letter to explain how we are to come to or strive for God's perfect love in our lives. He helps us understand that if we abide in God, and not in this world we will be able to walk and be perfected by God's spirit in us. As he describes though there is a perfect standard to reach for as well, that we are to follow Jesus' two commandments to love God, and to love our fellow man. Thus we are found short of perfect love when we hate our brothers, and ultimately love all of God's children. Fear is another great sign of imperfected love, because if we live in the fullness of God's love for us and His promises we will not fear, because the Lord Jesus has taken all the punishment on our behalf and therefore we should have no more fear.
A - The application for me is to walk in this promise of "no more fear" for those who walk in perfect love. I can see how this could be possible for if I walk in confidence in Jesus finished work in my life, and God's unbreakable love and acceptance of me, then I will not fear the judgement of man. I will be free to walk, act, and serve with God's perfect love, even if it differs from the worlds expectations, and perhaps falls short of people's expectations. My fear , should only be that reverent fear of the Lord, and not of man.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's great lesson, in what it is to love perfectly, and be loved perfectly. I pray Lord this transformational message would change me inside and help me to to walk confidently as you are calling me to walk, in your perfect love, and not in fear of man or expectations of the world. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.