Monday, March 27, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Love for you is perfect and casts out all fear

Perfect Love
A devotional by Kerry Sue Teravskis

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”–1 John 4:18 (NLT)

Fear and anxiety have become quite commonplace in our society these days. Why is that? Maybe it is because most people are more prone to talk about their fears and anxieties because they are more acceptable in this modern era?

The bigger question then is, “How come fear is acceptable?" "Why is my ‘lot in life’, excusable and even expected in this day and age?” And more importantly, “Why is this is happening in the church?”

The answer is not easy, nor is there a quick fix. Life is hard, things happen, the struggle is real. Just looking around in our communities will give us a glimpse into the hurts people face. And it is not getting easier.

While I was listening to a podcast recently, the verse above was quoted and the word "all" struck me. All fear is expelled by perfect love. I circled the word “all” in my Bible because all means all. Not halfway, nor just some, but all.

Perfect love expels all fear. Perfect love is defined for us in 1 John 4:10 (NLT), which says, “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

God defines love and demonstrates this love to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Reading the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible) will give you a good glimpse into love working in real life. Jesus cannot and will not change His love for you. His love is perfect because He is perfect. Jesus does not need to change, or grow and mature. He is perfection defined. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We can depend on His perfect love.

All fear is gone. If all fear is gone, then why do we hold on to it? Why are we allowing ourselves to be pulled back into a struggle that has already been chased away and expelled? Why do we nurse our hurts, anxieties or fears? Real fears do exist as well as anxieties, and there may be times when professional help is needed. Please seek help from a mental health professional if you need it. But, before you do, look to Jesus. Ponder His definition of love and what He does for us. Jesus sets us free. He stamps His love on our fears, our anxious thoughts and all of our lives. It’s when we hold on to them we run into trouble.

Cast all of your cares and fears on Jesus. When you do this, you will shine the Light of Jesus into the darkness that surrounds you so that the darkness ceases to exist. Why? Because God’s perfect love moved in and expelled darkness, shame, fear, doubt, anxiety.

It takes true grit to walk in love, light and follow Jesus. We need to take one step at a time. It takes belief and trust that what God says He will do, He will do. The victory has been won, so let’s walk in victory.

Let’s Pray: Father God, thank You for Your perfect love. I accept it. Help me to live my life knowing it is here to cast out all fear and anxiety. Show me areas where I have allowed myself to fear and to be anxious. I repent. Please forgive me. Please pour out Your love on these areas of my life. I trust You to help me take one step at a time in casting out all fear. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “I Will Fear No More” by The Afters. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

As a wife and Marmee to three adult children and one brand new daughter-in-love, Kerry Sue’s life is very full. She met her husband in college and served in the mission field with him for a few years before settling down back in the United States of America to raise their family. 

Kerry Sue’s family was a homeschooling family for 20 years and they enjoyed it immensely. For the last 23 years they have lived on a small farm in Northern California where they have raised many farm animals, along with growing and preserving their food. Kerry Sue’s family farm has been a great source of enjoyment and a place to host many family gatherings. She maintains an open-door policy for dear friends—old and new.

Following and serving Jesus Christ is an integral part of Kerry Sue’s life as well as her family’s.

Whether it’s singing in our church choir, teaching children or leading and lecturing at a women’s Bible study, Kerry Sue loves to demonstrate her love for Jesus by giving to Him in service. She’s been a blogger for more than eight years, a Bible study writer for two years, and a devotional writer for about one year.

Kerry Sue writes about finding God’s Sovereignty in our pain and suffering.

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