Posts Tagged ‘Joel 2:19’

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:”

The faithful God

March 11, 2015

The Verse of the Day for March 11, 2015 makes known one of the attributes of God, who is described in this way:

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deuteronomy 32:4 further proclaims:

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

The Psalmist speaks of God’s faithfulness:

Psalm 25:10

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

The truth that God is faithful in everything that He does is echoed in the Psalms:

Psalm 33:4

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does

Psalm 145:13

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.

Psalm 145:17

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.

Throughout the New Testament we find declarations of the absolute faithfulness of God:

1 Corinthians 1:9

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:24

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and prote2 Timoct you from the evil one.

Even when we, as believers, are deficient in faith, God remains full of faith

2 Timothy 2:13

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Hebrews 10:23 also reminds us that God is faithful to keep his promises:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

God is faithful to His covenant, and He has promised to fulfill that covenant and bless the land of those who maintain their covenant with Him, as an expression of His everlasting love:

Perfected Love

I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,
    enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
    an object of scorn to the nations.

Joel 2:19 [NIV]

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 your 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

With grain, new wine and oil supplied by your gracious right hand.

Here is a song that brings to mind the faithfulness of God: “He’s Been Faithful” offered by Damaris Carbaugh and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.”

There is no fear in love

February 22, 2014

1 John 4 18 2The Verse of the Day for February 22, 2014 offers a comforting reminder in the midst of these tempestuous times in which we live.

1 John 4:18 NIV

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.

Jesus Christ is the embodiment of perfect love. 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, which is the antidote to fear: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. . . .”

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

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

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.

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.

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 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].

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 expression “corn, wine, and oil” is symbolic of the material abundance that God gives. The following poem expresses the two-fold blessing that God generates through “Perfected Love”:

Perfected Love

Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people,                                                                                               

Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and                                                                                                       

ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make                                                                                              

you a reproach among the heathen:

Joel 2:19

 

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 your 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 corn, wine and oil supplied by your gracious right hand.

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