Todays readings.. Judges 19, Isaiah 41, 1 John 3&4
“PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR”
The Bible texts which describe the climax as Jesus is about to return, show they will be awesome! Paul wrote that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” [1 Thess 5 v.2] and in recent days we read similar comments by Peter. Most of all we know how Jesus foretold, “distress of nations in perplexity … people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” [Luke 21 v.25,26]
To a degree this was experienced 75 or so years ago when I was young, particularly when bombs were dropping most nights, but teamwork among the people carried them through this ordeal, especially those with a true faith. We pondered on the only real way a believer can overcome fear – it was shown in our readings today.
Chapters 3 & 4 in 1 John contain many profound thoughts from “the disciple whom Jesus loved” [John 19 v.26; 20 v.2; 21 v.7,20] this was about the ‘depth’ of the relationship believers can – and must develop with their Saviour. John is surely writing from the ‘depths’ of his own experience.
We read from v.15 in chapter 4. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.” Ponder carefully what John then declares, “whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment …”
How close are we to “the day of judgement” when people will be “fainting with fear and with foreboding”? The Middle East situation seems to be waiting/wanting to explode! But not only the ‘Middle East’ – the world financial scene is increasingly unstable. Is the god of mammon about to fall on its knees?
It is more vital than ever today to have a genuine relationship with God. We must fully grasp how John is stressing this point. God’s “day of judgement” on our godless world seems near. How “fear” will then multiply, in an unlimited way, throughout our world!
Let us take totally to heart v.18 & 19 in this chapter. “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. We love because he first loved us.” May we all develop “perfect love” – toward each other – but most of all toward our Lord and his (and our) God.
Peter told believers to “love one another earnestly from a pure heart” [1 Pet. 1 v.22] – but, above all, what is “most important” of all, is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Jesus said this! See Mark 12 v.30.
May we all develop as fully as is humanly possible, as an outcome of the intensity of our faith, the “perfect love (that) casts out fear.”