Posts Tagged ‘1 John 4:18’

No fear

October 2, 2018

In the midst of the uncertainty of our changing times, the Verse of the Day for October 2, 2018 touches upon a growing concern across the globe: fear.

Fear, a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, touches everyone, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can cripple and impact our daily lives in negative ways. Unbridled fear, as a toxic emotion, limits and inhibits believers. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind one of the chapters of my  new book. When diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, I did not see “a death sentence,” but I saw a “life sentence” that transformed my thinking. In Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs. I share the holistic strategy God inspired me to use to overcome this adversity. A vital part of the battle plan deals with confronting “the fear factor.” Here is an excerpt:

Regarding the toxic emotions of life,  we must learn to counteract their harmful effects with the proper remedy. In terms of responding to fear, we find that love is the perfect antidote.

The love of God  is the highest form of love, “a love which is more intimate than friend, or kin or wife;” This close-knit love is known as agape, a term used exclusively in the New Testament, to reveal the uniqueness of God’s love.

With love, as with any other emotion, there must be a demonstration or manifestation whereby one knows the reality of the emotion in question. We speak of the love of God in manifestation which is so clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible, John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

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 nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be perfected is to be brought to a full end.

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 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 this self-imposed prison from which Christ came to set the captives free. Even in distressful and disturbing situations where we do not clearly understand what is transpiring in our lives health-wise and otherwise, we must always remember this:

There is No Fear in Love

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.
—I John 4:18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear
And abounds to transform any adverse atmosphere.
We are perfected and made whole when we walk in love,
A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.
Such love is pure and never repels but draws us near.

This balm of love heals all wounds, no matter how severe
With words of compassion each soul on earth longs to hear;
Love conquers any disaster and rises above.
There is no fear in love.

We follow in Christ’s steps, knowing our mandate is clear.
Assured of triumph, there is never a need to fear.
We press toward the mark, the prize we seek to lay hold of
To ascend in victory on wings of a gentle dove.
We walk forth as bold pioneers on a love frontier:
There is no fear in love

Steffany Gretzinger offers this beautiful expression of our heart’s desire:

Embracing Your Life Sentence is designed to inform and inspire. Find out more about it at https://www.lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

Friday, the 13th and every day: No fear in love

July 13, 2018

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

Today, July 13, 2018, is actually the second “Friday, the 13th” occurring this year. Although some react to this day in an extremely negative way, for Christian believers, however, we thank “God it’s Friday” and every day of the week. Along with the Psalmist, we declare, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Indeed, every day is a “Good News Day.”

A previous blog post focused on Friday, the 13th, and examined Scriptures related to fear. Here is an excerpt from that entry:

While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during these intense times. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that limits and inhibits. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim, described in I Peter 5:8:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” is said to occur 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

We also find great encouragement in Isaiah 41:10, 13:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

When we encounter stressful situations that cause us to respond in fear, we are encouraged to seek the strength to overcome any obstacle that attempts to block our path to success. Again the Psalmist offers this reminder:

Psalm 34:5

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

In 1 John 4:18 we find 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 no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

Many are familiar with the acronym used to define fear: False-Evidence-Appearing-Real, but about five years ago a friend shared a new acronym for fear: Forgetting-Everything-Already-Realized. Many times fear comes into play when situations appear to be turning out in ways we had not expected. Too often we fear that God will not come through for us when we need Him to, and we panic. We forget that God is faithful to His Word, and He always keeps His promises. This phrase inspired the following poem, especially appropriate for Friday, the 13th.

Have No Fear: Remember Love

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 and gives us Victory 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.

Friday, the 13th, is simply another day to remind us to put on our “no fear gear”; as believers, we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with a tender reminder from Steffany Gretzinger: “No Fear in Love”:

Fear is not real

June 27, 2018

Once again, instead of the Verse of the Day, we are going to look at a Quote of the Day for June 27, 2018:

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”

–Will Smith

In “After Earth,” the Sci-fi film, starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith, one of the underlying themes is the question of whether fear is real or imagined.

Recently, Bishop Charles Mellette shared an unforgettable illustration that conveyed the truth:”Fear is not real.”

He described an impressive wedding held in a large church that was filled with hundreds of people. After the wedding party had taken their places in the front of the vast cathedral, with the bride and the groom taking center stage, the officiating clergy addressed the congregation:

“If anyone can show just cause, why this couple may not lawfully be joined together, let them now speak, or else forever hold their peace.”

An uneasy hush hovered over the congregation, as they held their breath and prayed the moment would pass quickly. The intensity of the moment rose to an even higher level when from the rear of the church, a young woman with an infant in her arms started walking slowly down the aisle. As she moved closer to the front, the atmosphere thickened even more. The bride was noticeably shaken by the unfolding scene: she began to sweat heavily, as her heart rate increased, and she began to hyperventilate until she passed out, just before the young woman reached the front. The minister asked, “Do you have something you want to say?”

She responded, “We can’t hear you in the back.”

A sigh of relief swept over the congregation,” as they realized that the imagined disaster that the wedding would be terminated was not real; the fear of impending disaster was only imaginary, and things were not as they appeared to be.

Bishop Mellete spoke of the common acronym for fear that embodied this entire situation: “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In discussing 1 Peter 5: 8, he explained how the Adversary uses fear as one of his tactics that attack believers and impede their progress. It is a tool used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim.

I Peter 5:8 (AMP):

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

In 1 John 4:18 we find 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 no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free, as this poem indicates:

Self-imposed Prison

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you
from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

– Rick Warren

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.

I John 4:18

This self-imposed prison, not made with bars of steel,
Nor formed with bricks, yet each subtly constructed wall
Restricts the mind, scars the soul and cripples the will
And impounds us to a state of constant free fall.
Held captive by past mistakes that seek to instill
Fear: this deadly acronym binds, confines the heart,
So disguised as “false evidence appearing real”
Keeps us from being all God intends us to be.
But Christ, our sovereign Lord, pardoned each life sentence,
Commuted penalties, declaring not guilty.
With his blood, having blotted out every offense,
Displayed undying love: key to set captives free.
Pure freedom to serve awaits those with ears to hear,
For perfected love destroys all walls built by fear.

Throughout the Bible we find reminders that we are to have no fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” is said to occur 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear. The closing sentence of the Quote of the Day says “Fear is a choice.” Without question, we are encouraged to choose “not to fear.”

Isaiah 41:10, 13

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

13 For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you\

We conclude as Whitley Phipps offers this musical reminder: “No Need to Fear”

God’s love: it is what it is (not)

February 11, 2018

1-Corinthians-13-4-5_web

With its emphasis on the love of God, the Verse of the Day for February 11, 2018 continues with the unfolding of 1 Corinthians 13 and its quintessential definition of love, as we move even closer toward Valentine’s Day. The next section from verses 4-5 illustrates the distinctive power of the love of God:

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Here the Word of God continues to answer in detail “What is love?” What unfolds is an extended  definition of the concept of “love” or “agape”, the unique expression of the love of God used throughout the New Testament, particularly in 1 Corinthians 13. Actually, the extended definition of love takes the form of a definition by negation, meaning the concept is explained in terms of its opposites or what it is not.What something is not becomes what it is. “It is what it is,” one of the popular sayings of the day, brings to light that “charity” or “the love of God” or “agape” is the opposite of what the Scriptures declare it is not.

And so the definition of the love of God continues to unfold. “Foreigner,” the British-American rock band released the pop-hit of the 1980s featuring the New Jersey Mass Choir with lyrics that expresses this desire: “I wanna know what love is.” To truly know what love is, we must know who God is, for God is love. First Corinthians 13 provides this magnificent definition of the love of God.

As we seek an even greater understanding of agape, the highest expression of love, we must remember there is no fear in love. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of any “self-imposed prison,” from which Christ came to set the captives free. As believers, we must never forget:

There is no fear in love

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.

I John 4:18

 

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you

 from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

Rick Warren

 

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

And abounds to transform any adverse atmosphere.

We are perfected and made whole when we walk in love,

A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.

Such love is pure and never repels but draws us near.

 

This balm of love heals all wounds, no matter how severe

With words of compassion each soul on earth longs to hear;

A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.

There is no fear in love.

 

We follow in Christ’s steps, knowing our mandate is clear.

Assured of triumph, there is never a need to fear.

We press toward the mark, the prize we seek to lay hold of

To ascend in victory on wings of a gentle dove.

We walk forth as bold pioneers on a love frontier:

There is no fear in love.

We close our discussion of God’s love with this reminder: “Love Never Fails” by Jim Brickman and Amy Sky:

No need to fear: Do not fear

July 19, 2017

 

The Verse of the Day for July 19, 2017 from Isaiah 41:10 offers words that are especially comforting and reassuring today:

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP):

Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’

Isaiah 41:13 also provides great encouragement and reiterates the message:

“For I the LORD your God keep hold of your right hand; [I am the Lord],
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

Once more God, our Father, reminds us to have no fear. Previous blog posts discuss other passages related to issue of fear and God’s continual reassurance that He is with us and there is no need to fear. Here are comments from some of those entries:

In the midst of the perilous times in which we live, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that limits and inhibits. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

In 1 John 4:18 we find 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 no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

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.

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. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates love, there no room for fear.

The following poem is inspired by the verse from 1 John and the statement from Rick Warren:

There is no fear in love

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.
I John 4:18

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you
from becoming what God intends for you to be.”
Rick Warren

 

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

And abounds to transform any adverse atmosphere.

We are perfected and made whole when we walk in love,

A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.

Such love is pure and never repels but draws us near.

 

This balm of love heals all wounds, no matter how severe,

With words of compassion each soul on earth longs to hear;

Love conquers any disaster and rises above.

There is no fear in love.

 

We follow in Christ’s steps, knowing our mandate is clear.

We press toward the mark, the prize we seek to lay hold of

Assured of triumph, there is never a need to fear.

To ascend in victory on wings of a gentle dove.

We walk forth as bold pioneers on a love frontier:

There is no fear in love.

The essence of the message for today is “There is no fear in love.” We conclude as Wintley Phipps offers this encouraging musical reminder: “No Need to Fear”

Fear exposes: Love covers

February 20, 2017

Proverbs 17--9

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for February 20, 2017 where we find yet another reference to love in Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV):

He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.

The Amplified Bible offers this rendering:

He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.

Proverbs 10:12 (AMP) goes on to contrast the actions of hatred and love:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].

The covering of sin of others in the context of love is indeed an admirable action mentioned in Proverbs; however, the expression “to cover one’s own sins” is not a positive action, as Proverbs 18:23 reveals. Here the Hebrew verb kasha, means to conceal or to “cover up.”

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJ) points this out:

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

The Verse of the Day from Proverbs 17:19 along with Proverbs 10:12 reveal the connection between the covering of sins and love. This connection is further reinforced

1 Peter 4:8 (AMP)

Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT) reminds us of the noble and notable qualities of love:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

In light of that last statement, love wipes the slate clean which is another way of saying that love covers sin rather than exposing it.

The Book of James concludes with this reference to the covering of sins

James 5:19-20

19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and [another] one turns him back [to God], 20 let the [latter] one know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins [that is, obtain the pardon of the many sins committed by the one who has been restored].

In a discussion Love Never Publicly Exposes the Faults of Others Pastor Mitch Horton mentions 1 Corinthians 13:7 which states that “love bears all things.” He elaborates with these comments:

The word “bears” is the Greek word stege which simply means a roof or a covering. In this verse it means to cover by silence the offenses of others! In fact the Berkeley translation of the New Testament of this phrase reads, Love covers all things in silence. . . . A believer who walks in love will not gossip about others’ problems!

Pastor Horton concludes his comments with a reference to Mrs. C. Nuzum, author of the book The Life of Faith [1] [who] has this to say about love covering with silence:

Love covers sins, even when there is a multitude of them. Love not only hides the evil in others, but refuses even to speak of it. Then, if we tell of the evil someone has done, criticize, judge, condemn, or murmur against anyone, no matter who he is or what he has done, we are proving that we have not love, because love covers in silence.

It has been said that fear exposes or uncovers sin, but love covers a multitude of sins. Of course, the Word of God once again reminds us of this eternal truth regarding fear and love:

1 John 4:18 (AMP):

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

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

 

Have no fear: Love trumps fear

January 20, 2017

1-john-4-18

In reflecting on the unfolding events of January 20, 2017, I recall the words posted a week ago on Friday, the 13th, regarding fear and its remarkable antidote, love. Although a week has passed, the demonstration of fear still grips the land, particularly on Inauguration Day for the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. In fact, that post has been revised and re-titled “Have no fear: Love trumps fear.” In discussing fear and its potentially deadly consequences, we commented:

Fear, an emotional response to potential danger, if not properly addressed can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Fear, an emotional response to potential danger, if not properly addressed can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Unbridle fear, a toxic emotion, limits and inhibits. Proverbs 29:25 makes this clear:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Some of the responses to the events taking placing in Washington, DC indicate that some people are overly concerned about the future which has led to anxiety. We are encouraged not to be overly concerned about the future nor anything for that matter in Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. This comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear. We could look at each one of these exhortations, not as the Verse of the Day but as “a Verse of the Day” for every day.

One such passage offering great encouragement during the trying times in which we live comes from Isaiah 41:10, 13 from which these lyrics are taken:

Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

For it is I, the LORD your God, who holds your right hand;

It is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

“Do not fear, I will help you.”

“Do not fear, I will help you.”

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear    as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

A previous blog post on this topic discussed 1 John 4:18 where we find 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.

The Book of 1 John makes known that those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end.

When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free. Without question, “Love casts out fear. . .” Indeed, “Love trumps fear.”

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, when we walk in power of God’s love, we will recognize a notable change, not only in our own lives individually, but we will also experience fruitfulness and favor upon our land, even in the midst of famine. The following poem expresses the two-fold blessing that God generates through “Perfected Love”:

Perfected Love

The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

Joel 2:19 (NKJV)

 

Jehovah, creator, author and finisher,

Who initiates to nourish perfected love;

Ever-abiding source and resource, publisher

Of declarations of genuine love to move

The soul of man to return to the place of his first

Love, the Beloved, whose heart overflows to give,

For only this passion can satisfy our thirst,

As you refresh us and teach us how we should live.

You have pledged your love through a sacred covenant.

If we maintain our vows of love, you will sustain

Our souls and feed us so that we shall never want.

You will shower with mercy as the gentle rain

And will bless and multiply the fruit of our land

With “grain, wine, and oil” supplied by Your gracious right hand.

Despite the challenges that confront us as individual believers or collectively as a nation, the Word of God exhorts us to be bold and take courage, not just on this particular Inauguration Day but every day of our lives. We are reminded that “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it, as we put on our “no fear gear”, as we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with the reassuring words of Wintley Phipps, who tells us one more time, “No Need to Fear:”

Perfected love overcomes fear on Friday, the 13th, and every day

January 13, 2017

Friday the 13th

Some people have a negative reaction to Friday, the 13th, but believers are encouraged to have no fear.

As the sun rises on a new day, we celebrate and joyfully declare: “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Today, the second Friday in December, 2019, actually turns out to be Friday, the 13th, a day that some react to in a negative way. Some even have an abnormal fear of Friday, the 13th, actually expressed in the psychological term paraskevidekatriaphobia. While not everyone harbors an ungrounded fear of Friday, the 13th, we cannot deny that fear seems to abound during the perilous times in which we live. We all recognize that fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way.

The Bible addresses the issue of fear with numerous reminders that as believers we are not to fear. This comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear. We could look at each one of these exhortations, not as “The Verse of the Day” but as “A Verse of the Day” for every day. One such passage offering great encouragement during trying times comes from Isaiah 41:10, 13, source of these lyrics:

Do Not Fear

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
For it is I, the LORD your God, who holds your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
“Do not fear, I will help you.”
“Do not fear, I will help you.”

Fear is a tool of the Enemy used as a barrier to stifle our confidence in God, as it attempts to limit our access to the Father’s throne of grace. Satan tries to instill fear in believers in the same way that a ferocious lion roars, seeking to instill fear that paralyzes its victim. We find a similar picture of the ways of our adversary in I Peter 5:8 (AMP):

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

It has been said that fear is the only thing that defeats the promises of God. Pastor Rick Warren describes fear as “. . . a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

A previous blog post on this topic discussed 1 John 4:18 where we find 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.

The Book of 1 John makes known that those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

I recall learning about the love of God that counteracts fear in a very simple yet profound way. One of the first books that my wife and I used to teach our daughters about our Heavenly Father was My Little Golden Book about God. This was a kind of primer for our daughters who memorized the words and associated them with the illustrations long before they could actually “read.” Some of the most cherished lines were these words that closed out the small book:

“Do not fear. I am here. And I love you, my dear. Close your eyes and sleep tight. For tomorrow will be bright.All is well, dear child. Good night.”

This simple response encourages all children of God to have no fear, for God is ever present, and He continues to say, “And I love you, my dear.”

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, when we walk in power of God’s love, we will recognize a notable change, not only in our own lives individually, but we will also experience fruitfulness and favor upon our land, even in the midst of famine. The following poem expresses the two-fold blessing that God generates through “Perfected Love”:

Perfected Love

The LORD will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

Joel 2:19 (NKJV)

Jehovah, creator, author and finisher,
Who initiates to nourish perfected love;
Ever-abiding source and resource, publisher
Of declarations of genuine love to move
The soul of man to return to the place of his first
Love, the Beloved, whose heart overflows to give,
For only this passion can satisfy our thirst,
As You refresh us and teach us how we should live.
You have pledged your love through a sacred covenant.
If we maintain our vows of love, You will sustain
Our souls and feed us so that we shall never want.
You will shower with mercy as the gentle rain
And will bless and multiply the fruit of our land
With “grain, wine, and oil” supplied by Your gracious right hand.

Despite the challenges that confront us as individual believers or collectively as a nation, the Word of God exhorts us to be bold and take courage, not just on Friday, the 13th but every day of our lives. Friday, the 13th, is just another reminder to put on our “no fear gear”, as we walk in the love of God which casts out all fear. We close with the reassuring words of Wintley Phipps, who tells us one more time, “No Need to Fear:”

Do not fear: No need to fear

July 19, 2016

Isaiah 41--10

Taken from Isaiah 41:10 (AMP) the Verse of the Day for July 19, 2016 was originally posted a year ago, but the truth of this particular verse certainly has application to our lives as believers in light of the uncertainty of turbulent times:

‘Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’

I recall reciting this verse which I had learned by heart after I experienced a situation that disturbed me and brought to the surface something that I thought I had dealt with, but I found myself being afraid—needlessly.  So when I read the verse from Isaiah 41, it was especially meaningful to me and addressed a concern in a precise way.

This encouraging word is one of 365 scriptures that address the issue of fear, providing yet another reminder to believers: “Do not fear.” We could view this particular verse as one of our daily memos from God to have no fear.

Recognizably, fear is a common and natural emotional response to potential danger, but if not properly addressed, it can become a deadly emotion with serious consequences. Excessive fear can become crippling and impact our daily lives in a negative way. Unbridled fear is a toxic emotion that can run rampant to limit and inhibit.

As with each of the toxic emotions of life, we want to counteract their harmful effects with the proper remedy. When we encounter a negative emotion, we are encouraged to move in the opposite spirit. In terms of responding to fear in light of moving in the opposite spirit, we find that love is the perfect antidote.

In those who hear the Word of God and keep it, the love of God is “perfected” or made perfect or complete, wanting nothing or brought to maturity in them. To be “perfected” is to be brought to a full end. 1 John 4:18 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 this “self-imposed prison” from which Christ came to set the captives free.

Self-imposed Prison

“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you

 from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

 Rick Warren

 

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.

I John 4:18

 

This self-imposed prison, not made with bars of steel,

Nor formed with bricks, yet each subtly constructed wall

Restricts the mind, scars the soul and cripples the will

And impounds us to a state of constant free fall.

Held captive by past mistakes that seek to instill

Fear: this deadly acronym binds, confines the heart,

So disguised as “false evidence appearing real”

Keeps us from being all God intends us to be.

But Christ, our sovereign Lord, pardoned each life sentence,

Commuted penalties, declaring not guilty.

With his blood, having blotted out every offense,

Displayed undying love: key to set captives free.

Pure freedom to serve awaits those with ears to hear,

For perfected love destroys all walls built by fear.

The essence of the message for today is “Have no fear—walk in love.” We conclude as Whitley Phipps offers this encouraging musical reminder: “No Need to Fear”

No fear in love

February 22, 2016

1 John 4 18

Verse of the Day for February 22, 2016 provides yet another reference to the love of God:

1 John 4:18 (NKJV):

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.

The Amplified Bible offers this rendering:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

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.

The Verse of the Day provides the basis for love being the perfect antidote to fear. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there is no room for fear.

The words “Do not fear” or some variation thereof appear 365 times in the Bible. We can, thus, view the expression as a daily memo from God with instructions as to how we should live. In the midst of our turbulent times laden with fear that seems to pervade the world, we must never forget that God loves us. Knowing that God loves us and that nothing can separate us from His love, we find comfort and strength when we face the challenges of life that seem to overwhelm us at times. The words of the Psalmist, however, remind us of this truth:

Psalm 23: 4 (NLT)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The lyrics to this original song also reinforce the message that God loves us and is always with us:

When You Walk through the Valley

When you walk through the valley,
I’ll be right there to guide you.
I will lighten your path all along the way.
I will turn your darkest night into the brightest day.

When you go through the fire,
It will not singe or burn you.
I will quench the fiery flames of the enemy.
Don’t look right or left but only unto to me.

When you go through the flood,
It will not overwhelm you.
I will bear you up on eagle’s wings.
You are more than conquerors in all these things.

I will uphold you and keep you.
I will sustain and support you.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
All my promises are sure.
I know you, and I love you.
I will supply all your need.
Never fear, my child,
I am here, my child.
I love you, and I am always near.

As we reflect on the Verse of the Day and related scriptures, the lyrics to this powerful song by Phil King reinforce the message “Love casts out fear”: