We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Hanna Winslow.
1 John 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.”
God is telling us that fear does not have a part to play in a loving relationship. Instead, real love drives any fear away. A lot of us struggle with the concept of God’s love for us; God is holy and cannot associate with sin, and yet he loves us so much that he established a way to make a relationship between himself and humans possible in spite of our rebellious nature.
So when we mess up as Christians, how do we approach God without shame and fear? After all he has done on our behalf, when we sin against him it can be hard to believe that he is willing to continue extending forgiveness and love. When we sin against another person, it can be hard to be around them, much less communicate and share the same level of relational intimacy as before. When we approach God, many of us tend to “personify” him, forgetting that his ways are not our ways! He loves us, and the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST IS ENOUGH to cover all of our inadequacies for our entire lives until finally we are in our glorified bodies for eternity with him.
Jesus’ sacrifice is enough. He said it, and it is an act of worship to believe it. In order to experience this truth, we have to read it, and believe it. Faith is not just agreeing with God’s word intellectually, but in our physical responses. If you say you believe it, then go and sin no more. Live in light of the truth of the incredible gospel of Jesus.
Whoever fears has not been perfected in love. Perfected means “made whole” in the same way that that the word perfect is used in James 1 when we are told that trials mature us spiritually bringing us closer to a state of wholeness. 1 John 4:18 is alerting us of the fact that fear in love is simply evidence that we are not yet understanding God’s love for us completely! We can look at this as good news, because it means that there is more to God that we have yet to learn and embrace. There is no fear in love! God’s perfect love casts out our fear. Amen!
God, please help us understand your love for us so that we can respond appropriately in thankfulness and reciprocation. Help us to be honest with you about what motivates our obedience or rebellion towards you. Please change our hearts so we can live in genuine and pure relationship with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Allow an honest application of God’s word to reveal where the contents of your heart and mind fall short of his truth. Pray for heart change where needed, but take steps of obedience even in the process of waiting on God allowing the Holy Spirit to realign your spirit with his.
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