Wednesday, May 20

Love which overcomes fear.

Fear is all around us. Some are afraid that they will not be loved. Others are afraid that they will lose their status.  Many are afraid about their financial security, their personal health, and the uncertain future because of the current crises. A normal by-product of fear is hatred. Because people are living in fear, their capacity for love is diminished and their relationships with others can become judgmental, antagonistic, spiteful and full of hate.  

Into this world of fear and hate, God brings light and love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So, we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.   If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?   And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. 1 John 4:16-21

Because your identity is based in God, you are His child. Living in God’s identity means that you are learning to love as God loves. In a world of fear, you are blessed with this promise: “perfect love expels all fear.”   The perfect love of God for you is expelling fear from your heart.  Your ability to love is being perfected by God’s love.  Day by day, as you continue to live out your identity as God’s child, His Spirit keeps working in you.

Is there a fear that has led you to be uncomfortable with someone? Is there a fear that has led you to hate? Is there a fear that causes you to avoid certain people because they are different from you? What fears are in your heart today?

Good News! God keeps perfecting you in and through Jesus. God is at work in you through the power of His Spirit.  Listen to God's still small voice. Ask Him to forgive you and release you from fear by the power of His unconditional love.

Prayer: God of love, fill me with your Spirit. Please expose my fears and any hatred I may harbor. In place of fear and hate fill me with your perfecting love. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.