by Pastor Mark Jordan
“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 John 4:18, NIV)
Yesterday we explored how there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Today, we get a great insight from John about how those in Christ need not even fear punishment, because of the perfect love of God. This isn’t to say we won’t face discipline, because God is shaping his children into Jesus’ image, but God doesn’t do that by punishment. Punishment is essentially revenge for past mistakes, but discipline is about shaping appropriate behavior for the future. God is forward looking to say the least!
Before today’s verse, we see how John says that God’s children need not even fear judgment, because Christians have the same standing as Jesus. What a radical thought, but a loving one. Some might be inclined to take that for granted; I wouldn’t, though, because of the immense responsibility. God calls his children to be his witnesses in the world, and to testify to his goodness. This isn’t done by living carelessly, but carefully with commitment and conviction.
Know this: God loves you perfectly. If you are in Christ, you need not fear God’s punishment, because God wants to get you ready for heaven. Sure, you might have to endure some discipline as God works on you, but it is all done through God’s perfect love. Be not afraid, and be ready to share that love with others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your perfect love that drives out fear. I admit I can fear your punishment at times, but I know your love is perfect. Help me to accept that in my life and share that with others. I pray this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Have a blessed day,