Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 John 4:13-19
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 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.
During World War II, a military governor met with General George Patton in Sicily. When he praised Patton highly for his courage and bravery, the general replied, “Sir, I am not a brave man. . . The truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of a gunshot or in sight of a battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands.” Years later, when Patton’s autobiography was published, it contained this significant statement by the general: “I learned very early in my life never to take counsel of my fears.”
Because of what Christ did on the cross for us by redeeming us from sin we don’t have to be afraid. In the passage above, the Apostle John talks about conquering fear, and specifically he says that Jesus has conquered our fears through His extravagant love for us. Because Christ bore our sins on the cross we can have confidence in the day of judgment, and if I can be confident God won’t judge me for my sins what do I really have to fear? As Paul writes in Romans 8, “if God is for us who can be against us?”
Through Christ’s conquest of fear on our behalf we learn also how to conquer fear in our lives. How do we conquer fear? Some say you conquer fear with faith, and that is partially true. The second half of that is we conquer fear with faith in the love of God. Perfect love casts out fear. When I rest in the love of God and know by faith He will draw me to His side even in death then fear has no resting place in my heart and mind. Fear has to leave when love walks in the door!
Apply this to life today. If you want to help your spouse conquer fear in his or her life choose love. How do you instill confidence in the heart of a child? It’s not through threats and ultimatums; it’s through love. We have 4 boys in our house and my sons are always at their best in life, confident in academics, athletics, relationships, and their walk with the Lord, when they are shown and feel love. Leader, if you want the team you lead to make confident effective decisions they must feel cared for under your influence. Perfect love casts out fear.
Child of God, never take counsel from your fears. Fear always leads to bad decisions and broken relationships. Take counsel from the love of God. Nothing can separate us from His love, and it is His unchanging love in our heart that helps us strengthen others. Fear as an acronym can be described as false evidence appearing real. Today, remember the evidence. Rest in the love and goodness of God. Let this song of praise encourage you today.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Oh Father, thank You for Your love. Your perfect love casts out my fear because I know I don’t have to receive your judgment. Thank you for sending Your own Son to take my punishment on the cross. Today, Oh Father, help me to love others. Help me to love those both near and far so that they too might find their confidence in You. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY:
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children