Posts Tagged 1 John 4: 18

Trust Commitment

Psalm 37: 5

Commit your way to the lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Learning to trust God is a continual work. We need to become as little children and trust him wholly and completely. You have seen a small child jump off of a height into a waiting parent’s arms. Their trust is complete and fear non-existent. Unfortunately, as we grow, the world teaches us to trust in ourselves and no one else. We learn distrust instead of maintaining that attitude of complete trust. We learn fear. As adults, and yet children of God, we need to learn to go back to what I call radical trust. It is the trust of a small child. We need to unlearn what we have learned of the world and go back to our simpler days, the days of our youth. Do you know why children are able to trust so completely? It is love. Their world is love. That is all they know in the beginning of their lives. They have not learned of the ugliness of the world because they are still in the cocoon of love. 1 John 4: 18 says that perfect love casts out fear. So, there is no fear in them.

As you grew older, the world invaded your world and taught you the things outside of love. And many of us learned those lessons so well that we let go of what love taught. We actually, then, become creatures of the world instead of children of love. But, as sentient beings we have the ability to choose. You can turn yourself away from a life of fear and skepticism and go back to a world of faith, love and trust. In the Lord is complete safety and love. I wish I could trust Him for you. I wish I could give you my trust but you must see for yourself. It begins with one small trust step for most of us. Then we see God’s faithfulness and the next time we are able to trust Him a bit more. Then more, and more. Finally, one day we will abide in radical trust of the Lord. That is where I want to be because it is a life of no worry, no stress and no fear. You won’t sweat the stuff that is driving other people crazy because you will have such complete trust in the Lord’s faithfulness towards you.

Commit your ways completely and totally to the Lord and let Him show you what He will do for you.

Redirect

Mark 5: 36

Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.

We are given many opportunities to be afraid. For some people those opportunities present themselves daily. But Jesus has an answer for that fear. The answer is his love (1 John 4: 18). There is no fear in love and his perfect love casts out fear. So, we are to abide in his love so that we may overcome fear rather than be overcome by it.

There are times you fear for your children and fear for your health. Sometimes situations look desperate and fear arises. But once you have lived this life long enough, you begin to realize that fear attracts negative things to itself while positive attitudes reject fear. As you gain a little experience you find that no matter how hopeless a situation appears, there is always a way out of it. There is always a glorious answer.

This is not to minimize the problems people face. There are huge challenges out there; otherwise there would really be no need for this teaching. Jesus knew that each and every one of us was going to face frightening circumstances. That is why he taught us to redirect our focus onto him. When we think about his miracle working power and the things he has pulled off for us in the past, we are able to face new challenges with much more faith. So, when you feel fear creeping into your heart, quickly redirect your mind to thinking about the miracles of Jesus. Think about things he has worked out in your life in the past and move your emotions over to faith in him rather than belief in that which you fear.

No Fear Here

1 John 4: 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.

We have heard this verse often enough but I wonder how deeply we understand it. People don’t come to Christ because they are “afraid” of what they will have to give up. In other words, they are afraid of the punishment if they call themselves Christians and yet continue in their lifestyle. That is all backwards. God doesn’t call people to the fold in order to punish them. The weight of their sin is on them now. Jesus came and died that their sin might transfer to him. They are under the judgment of the law now. Christ came to set us all free (Galatians 5: 1).

God is love and there is no fear in love. There is no fear in God and no fear in those who are in God. You have been set free from fear and death. Moreover, you have been freed from the curse of the law. You needn’t have fear of punishment. Being in the house of God is to be in the house of liberty. Christ has freed us from the fear of judgment by shedding his blood for our sins. The question is no longer about punishment but rather reward.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 6). God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, not a punisher. He has saved you by His grace and Jesus’ blood in order to remove you from the bane of punishment and instead put you in the house of His good mercies so that He can pour out on you the rewards of His household. Can someone shout?

What we should learn and make known is that we haven’t given up a thing to follow Jesus. We have only gained. If we clean up our act a little bit, it is because we love God and want to be with Him. He does not require us to change in order to love us. However, I want good rewards and that is motivation, and much better motivation than punishment. “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27). Give me some of that! I want to see Jesus in all his father’s glory and I want to feel good about standing with him. He will love me regardless but I want to clean up and I want to follow him and I know you are the same way.

As the revelation of God’s love blossoms in our hearts, this will be our only perception. We will have no fear of any kind much less the fear of retribution from our Father. When we understand a love so deep that it is sacrificial, then there is no way we will concern even one cell of our brains with the fear of what God will do to us. He sent Jesus to save, not condemn so there is therefore no longer fear. There is no fear in love, no fear in God.

Faithful Fear

Job 3:25

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

It is a spiritual law that those things which we greatly fear, we will attract to us. Why? We meditate on it. We roll it around and around in our minds until it takes on a life of its own. As we think on that thing of which we are afraid, we experience many of the same emotions and almost to the same intensity level as if they really happened. In our imagination they are real and they have life. The next thing you know we start spitting that unbelief and fear out of our mouths. Language is how God created all that is. Our words have tremendous power in our lives. So when we harbor fear and dread in our hearts we continually give it life until we finally give birth to that which we have most feared.

But take heart! Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4: 18) and God is love (1 John 4: 8). God is that perfect love which has been shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5: 5). Cast all of your care upon him; cast all that you fear into his hands because he cares for you (1 Peter 5: 7). You now have no reason to fear. He has taken all of the fear unto himself and given you his perfect love in its place. Meditate on the depth of God’s love for you and you will be so full that there will be no place for that fear any longer. Bless God!

The Essential Nature of God

1 John 4: 8

God is love.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes al things hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

God is love. It is His essential nature; what He is, what He is made of. Love is not an attribute of God, not one of His characteristics. It is the substance of who and what He is. We cannot separate love from God but many people, even those of the church, have lost the certainty of that statement. We understand with our minds that God is love but in our hearts we still hold onto a God who is vengeful and wrathful.

When we combine the two verses for today we get an accurate picture of God. God is patient, God is kind, and is not jealous; God does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; He does not seek His own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes al things hopes all things, endures all things. God never fails.

Our God is the perfect parent. Love drives everything He does. His love is sacrificial and unselfish. He is everything we want in a friend, spouse or parent and He is all those to us. He is perfect love. There is no fear in His presence because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4: 18). Our God who is mighty in deed is as gentle as a lamb. 

We really must get a deep revelation of this lover who is our God. We need to hold deep within our hearts the absolute truth of the Father’s love for each one of us individually. There is no power until there is this abiding truth within us. Your Father loves you absolutely and unconditionally. Meditate on that until you cannot be swayed. Then you will soar with wings as eagles.