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.
1 John 4:18
Its understandable why so many believers struggle in their relationship with Jesus Christ and truly believing that they are loved, accepted and forgiven for the simple reason is so many of our relationships are based on conditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. In other words, it’s very difficult to comprehend unconditional love in a very conditional world. Studying the love of God I am reminded that the Bible is a love story from the beginning to the end and a romantic story at that. As the benchmark of all great love stories the Bible reveals for us just how far God would go to rescue us from the clutches of evil and the price He would pay to ensure our rescue. Not only would God leave the throne of heaven and cross enemy lines to find us, He would risk everything, even His life to save us. In truth, Jesus not only risked His life, He paid the ultimate price in securing our freedom when He willingly traded places with us and gave Himself for our sins. Jesus died so we could live. No greater love has any man than this…
From careful reading of our bible we find a constant thread that runs through the Old and New Testament and that is how God sees the relationship with His chosen people. In the Old Testament Israel is the elect of God, chosen as His own special people. So special in fact that God calls the nation of Israel His wife and conveys over and over His love and dedication as likened to that of a husband for his wife. It might be hard to imagine but it’s true, God’s love for His people is romantic through and through. In the New Testament, the church is revealed as the bride of Christ, betrothed to Him. The dowry paid by His own blood and the down payment given to the bride to be is the gift of His Spirit within us while we wait for His glorious return.
It’s no secret that God sees our relationship with Himself like that of husband and wife. Arranged marriages were common in the bible, and nothing has changed. The Father has arranged for the marriage of His son, and He chooses a bride for Him. This is where our story becomes almost magical. To think God would choose me and He would choose you for His Son, but thats exactly what He did. We have been hand picked by God for a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. When the reality of what God has done begins to set it we find ourselves overwhelmed like King David in Psalm 139:1-6 who most likely with tears of joy streaming down his face uttered, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue. But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.”
Whenever you think God doesn’t love you, nor care about you and what you are thinking, or feeling or going through remember He hand picked you and His commitment to you isn’t conditional, its unconditional because your relationship with Him is a marriage based on His vow, His promise. Earthly marriages are based on a conditional vow, dissolved by, “Death do us part” whereas our marriage vow with Jesus is based on an unconditional promise as Jesus died once and for all and now lives forever more, never to die again. God’s commitment to you and me is based on an unconditional promise Jesus made when He declared, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” We are not just secure in God’s love, we are eternally secure in Jesus love.
God hates divorce and though it’s hard to imagine what God would see in you and me that He would make such a vow to us, He did and it’s why He uses marriage as the model of our relationship with us. Jesus is committed to us, for better, for worse, for richer, for poor, and in sickness and in health. “The unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband” the apostle Paul reminds us. The picture in scripture can’t be made more clear than the image God paints of His love and dedication to us in that of a marriage, a marriage made in heaven. Our response to God is our choice as marriage is first an invitation that becomes a legal and binding when we say “yes” . As Jesus stands at the door of every heart knocking to come in we get to demonstrate our own love for Him by saying, “yes” to His invitation and then living out the “yes” each and every day of our lives as we walk with Him growing in our understanding that there is no fear in perfect love, the perfect love of God.
“We love Him because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
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