18 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.
19 We love because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:18-19
The reason there is no fear in love is that there is no threat of punishment for being a loving person. When you love someone with real practical deeds, you never fear any repercussions because genuine acts of love generally don’t bring punishment. Fear is what you feel when you have done something that deserves punishment, but love is never threatened with punishment. So there is no fear in love.
Perfect love is the overflow of His Spirit actively working on your heart. When you love others with "perfect love", it casts out fear. When you choose to love others with a selfless, bold love, you can live with confidence. When you choose to love those who are most difficult to love with a genuine desire to put them first, you can know God’s blessings will follow your obedience.
One of the reasons why so many professing Christians have little confidence with God and little boldness with people is that their lives are not devoted in love to the salvation of the lost and to the glory of God, but instead are devoted to providing earthly security and comfort for themselves and their families. Loving those in our lives with a perfect love does not stop there. When we try to say that we are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, and yet we do not devote our lives to the eternal good of other people, there is a deep contradiction within us that gnaws away at our souls and dissolves our confidence and leaves us feeling weak and inauthentic. A life poured out in the labors of love for the eternal good of other people yields a sure consciousness of doing good, a deep peace of mind and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter.
On a final note, it’s important to recognize that it isn’t our acts of love that causes God to love us. It is always the reverse. God loves first. Then we know and believe the love God has for us (v. 16). Trusting the love that he has for us in Jesus Christ, he abides in us and HIS love overflows into action and is perfected with us. And we have confidence for the day of judgment. It all begins with the love of God. "We love because he first loved us." If you lack the power to love, look to the cross of Christ and let the love of God for sinners fill you with hope.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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