There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19
That Perfect Love
There can be a lot of fear in our relationships. We fear that the other person will find out who we really are. We fear that we do not really know the other person. We fear that we will be misunderstood, or that we will disappoint the other person.
There can be a lot of fear in our relationship with God. We fear that he will punish us when we fail to follow his Word. We fear that we misunderstand what he wants and that he will be disappointed. We fear that we have not been good enough, and that we will end up in hell as a result.
God’s perfect love for us drives out those fears. God promises that he has punished his own Son, Jesus, for our sins, so he will not punish us with hell. Instead, in his perfect love, he promises us heaven through faith in Jesus, and tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” The perfect forgiveness we have through Jesus takes away our fears.
That perfect love leads us to love God. Even though he is holy, he has reached down to us unholy people and lived with us in the person of Jesus Christ. Today he promises to be with us wherever we go, wherever we live.
That perfect love also leads us to love other people. Because God has forgiven us, we do not withhold our forgiveness from others. When we need the strength to show that love and forgiveness, even to people who don’t deserve it, we remember that God has loved us and forgiven us even when we don’t deserve it, and we are moved to love.
We love because he first loved us.
Lord of life and love, take away our fears, and give us confidence to live our lives for you in love for one another. Amen.