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. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:18–20 (ESV)
Perfect love casts out fear. There is no perfect love apart from God’s love. All other love is a cheap imitation, ultimately selfish and self-centered, looking for “what’s-in-it-for-me.” Isn’t it amazing that we can receive and experience God’s love and then pass it along to others? As a matter of fact, our loving others unselfishly and unconditionally is evidence that God’s love abides in us!
What is this fear of which the author of 1 John speaks? It’s the fear of eternal judgement, the fear of death. As a follower of Jesus Christ that fear has been put to flight! Hallelujah! Oh, we often chase it down in the middle of the night and wrap it around our minds like a soft, cuddly blanket but we do have the option of resting in the truth instead of wrestling with lies.
How, you say? Just as light dispels darkness, truth dispels lies. The truth is that every smidgeon of God’s great love was wrapped in the babe we celebrate each Christmas. The manger was never the goal; the cross was. Jesus took our place as He endured the cross, despising the shame of it all, and He finished the work He came to do. If you could put on spiritual glasses, you might even see Him brush His holy hands and look at the Father and whisper emphatically, “It’s DONE!”
The greatest lullaby ever written was spoken on the cross of Calvary and it goes like this: Tetelestai!* It is finished. That, my friend, is the perfect love that casts out fear. Rest in it.
Living It Out – Fear and faith cannot co-exist. Our grassroots fear is camouflaged in so many layers. Determine today that you are going to trust God regardless of what thoughts assault you. The truth of the perfect love of God will cast out your fear. Make resting in His love and provision your goal today.
*Tetelestai is the Greek translation of Jesus final words, “It is finished.”