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Monday, May 13, 2019

God’s Love Frees You to Love Fearlessly

In review of 1 John 4:18 John tells me that, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it . . . shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (NLT).

Today’s verse is 1 John 4:18. In it John reminds me that there is no fear in love; for perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

If I'm ever afraid of the future, eternity, or God's judgment, I can remind myself of God's love. I know that he loves me perfectly. I can resolve my fears by focusing on his immeasurable love for me, and then by allowing him to love others through me. His love will quiet my fear and give me confidence.

Conflict occurs in relationships when someone is trying to control someone else. Fear is beneath that control. Insecurity causes us to try to control others or resist the control of others. If  I become so insecure that all I think about is what others think of me, it will destroy my relationships, disable my life and weaken my effectiveness.

It’s an amazing dilemma I have as a human being: I long to be close, but also fear it. I long to have intimacy with others, but I’m also scared to death of it.

Insecurity prevents intimacy and destroys my relationships. I can’t get close to somebody if there’s fear in the relationship. If insecurity destroys relationships, then what builds them? Love! Love builds relationships.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it . . . shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (NLT).

Love expels all fear by taking the focus off of myself and putting on others. It makes a big difference to get the focus off of myself and onto the people in front of me. If I start thinking about what they thought of me, I would have something to be afraid of, right? But the minute I start thinking about how much I love them and how I want serve God, then the fear will disappear. Focusing on the others will give me the power to throw fear out of my life.

So how do I find that power to focus on others? I’m learning that I start by realizing how much God loves me. The moment I begin to understand how much God loves me, I don’t have to prove myself any more. I don’t have to spend my life trying to impress others, because I already know that God loves me.

My identity and self-worth are not caught up in what others might think of me. When I’m secure in my relationship with Christ, I’m no longer pressured by everybody else’s expectations. God’s love frees me to love others fearlessly.

Bottom Line:
There is no fear in love.

What this means to me:
I should have no fear in love for perfect love drives out all fear.

In summary, there is no fear in love, perfect love drives out all fear. God loves me perfectly. I can resolve my fears by focusing on his immeasurable love for me, then by allowing to love others through me. Love expels all fear by taking the focus off of myself and putting on others. I don't have to spend my life trying to impress others, because I know that God already loves me. My identity and self-worth are not caught up in what others might think of me. God's love frees me to love others fearlessly.

This morning Father I realize that I often get caught up in what others think of me or my team. I need to rest in knowing you that you love me deeply and this is what I need most. I can be free to not fear or get caught up in myself but to using the love you give me to love and serve others, and make a difference in their lives.

I pray this morning father for relief of focusing on myself and to organize my responsibilities and tasks in a way that aren’t reactive but proactive and forward thinking. I pray for your wisdom and guidance. This I pray in your Son Jesus name, amen.

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