No fear: Love overcomes

1 John 4 18The Verse of the Day for January 14, 2016 comes from 1 John 4:20-21 and discusses the love of God. To more fully comprehend the essence of God’s love, let us examine the broader context found in 1 John 4:16-21:

The book of I John also reveals the “perfect” connection between fear and love, particularly in 1 John 2:5 (NKJV):

But whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this know that we are in Him.

In those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting in nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end. This concept is further discussed in chapter 4 verse 12 which reminds us:

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

Verses 13-16 go on to explain just how the love of God comes to abide or remain or dwell within us:

By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

The love of God is “perfected” or made complete or full in us when we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of perfect love. Verse 17 elaborates on this reality:

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world

Verse 18 provides the basis for love being the perfect antidote to fear:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there is no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of what Rick Warren describes as “self-imposed prison,” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

Throughout the New Testament believers are exhorted to walk in love, to demonstrate or manifest love, to put on love. Colossians 3:14 in the Amplified Bible puts it this way:

And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

In the last month of last year, I posted two blog entries as tributes to a dear friend and beloved sister in Christ, Victoria Lynn Dunn, who passed away suddenly at the age of fifty. In one of the posts, I commented on the significance of her name in light of the “Victory that we have as followers of Christ who ever leads us from victory to victory, even the victory over death itself.

The Verse of the Day brings to mind the familiar acronym used to describe fear: False Evidence Appearing Real; the passage also reminds me of a prophetic word that Victoria shared in which she introduced another acronym for fear: Forgetting Everything Already Realized. This designation further inspired a poem that also offered another acrostic definition of love: Love Overcomes: this Victory we have Every time. Both descriptions are a part of the following:

Have No Fear: Remember Love

With gratitude to Victoria Lynn Dunn

 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear:

because fear involves torment. He who fears

has not been made perfect in love

I John 4:18

 

Forgetting Everything Already Realized,

Everything God performs He does with excellence.

Already set before us is every promise.

Realized with each sunrise this eternal truth:

Love Overcomes: this Victory we have Every time.

Only believe, knowing love energizes faith.

Victory is ours each time we trust God and believe,

Ever mindful that perfect love casts out all fear.

God cannot love us more and will not love us any less.

May we never forget but always remember:

Despite the storms and fiery trials, we will not fear,

Knowing nothing can separate us from God’s love.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there is no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of fear, from which Christ came to set the captives free.

To close this discussion here is a musical composition that repeats the message: “There is no fear in love.”

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