God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

God’s Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

When we understand and comprehend God’s perfect love for us, it drives out all fear.  Let’s see what the Bible has to teach us.

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.  (1 Joh 4:18 NIV) 

The perfect love that we receive from God is unending, unfailing, and persevering.  Glory to God!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV)

The spirit of fear is not from God but comes from not being able to trust God completely and comprehensively.  God has given us the Holy Spirit as well as the fruit of the spirit which includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (see Gal 5:22-23)  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of power.  (See Acts 1:8)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15 NIV)

The spirit whom we received when we accepted Christ as our Savior is the Holy Spirit.  (See Acts 2:38; Eph 1:13; Rom 8:16)  Once we accepted Christ as our Savior, we became children of God.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  (1 Joh 4:12 NIV)

The Bible verse above reminds us that no one has ever seen God in His complete, divine revelation.  Even Moses only saw the back of the Lord in Exodus 33:18-23.  However, as we believers imitate the love of God for mankind, we demonstrate God’s love to humanity. 

The perfect love of God—which has forgiven and cleansed us of all of our sins—drives out fear.  It drives out the fear of eternal punishment, as well as the fear of what other people think of us.  It drives out the fear of the unknown because we know that God holds us in the palm of His hand and has provided all that we need for life and godliness.  (2 Pet 1:3) As we believers experience God’s love inside of us, it empowers us to live for Him and to love others.  As we mature and grow in grace and walking in the love of God, we model the love, forgiveness, and mercy of God toward all with whom we interact.  Praise God!

The Blessing of God’s Correction

The Blessing of God’s Correction

Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  (Job 5:17 NIV)

Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law . . .  (Ps 94:12 NKJV)

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.  (Pro 3:11-12 NKJV)

What?  How can anyone consider correction or criticism to be a blessing?  When we think about this in the terms of a loving parent correcting their child whom they love, it becomes somewhat easier to comprehend. 

In reality, if parents don’t teach children the truth about traffic lights, crossing the road, or even consideration for others, those kids will be in danger of some serious harm.  So, in this way, we can see that the parents’ correction and teaching is a true sign of their great love for their children.

In the same way, God corrects us in order to save us from some future harm of which we are unaware.  He is correcting us in order to keep us on His path of righteousness.  The Bible saysIn the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.  (Pro 12:28)  In the pathway of righteousness there is no death—in any form—not developing or even embryonic. 

Those who will not hear and obey God’s correction will not end well according to the Word.

He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.  (Pro 10:17)

Happily, God’s usual forms of correction are to use a Scripture verse, our conscience, a timely sermon, or a quiet word from a Christian brother or sister to correct us.  Sometimes He will use a loving and caring family member to warn us of danger.  This is always a sign of the person’s love and concern for us. 

We need to be sensitive to these forms of God’s correction, and to welcome them as a sign of His great love for each one of us.  And most importantly, we need to OBEY these promptings from our Father God.  God bless you.

Render to God the Things That Are His

Render to God the Things That Are His

When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”  But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” So they brought it.  And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  And they marveled at Him.  (Mk 12:14-17, emphasis added)

The chief priests and scribes heard Jesus teaching the people, and they decided that they wanted to test Him. They wanted to trick Him into saying something publicly for which He could get into a lot of trouble.  But Jesus answered them with the wisdom that He received from God.  The crowd marveled at His answer, and the chief priests and scribes were silenced.

When Jesus asks whose image and inscription were on the coin, they answered correctly, “Caesar’s.”  Genesis 1:26 tells us that mankind was made in the image and likeness of God.  Believers also have the inscription of God’s law written within them.  (Ex 13:9; Isa 44:5; Jer 31:33)

WE have God’s image and inscription written upon us, as believers, so we should desire to give ourselves to Him.  We are obligated to pay taxes, but we owe our very lives and all that we are and all that we have to God.  Our duty to God will always surpass our duty to the government.  Why?  Because when we were born again we were “conformed to the image of His Son.”  (Ro 8:29)

Another thing that is due the Lord is a tithe of our income to support the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.  In Bible times, the Hebrews also were expected to give tithes to their priests, because the tribe of Levi had not been given an inheritance in the Promised Land.  So they relied upon the Hebrews for their livelihood.

. . . because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  (Ro 1:21, emphasis added)

One of the major things that we owe to God is to glorify Him.  Even our very bodies belong to God! 

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1 Co 6:19-20)

We should rejoice in our God, in our salvation, and in our blessings.  For these reasons, alone, let us thankfully give the Lord all of our praise and worship continuously.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ . . . (Phil 3:20) In the end, we are citizens of Heaven—our eternal home.