Good Morning! I am grateful you are joining our study of 1 John! Catch up on reading’s here. As you study, move through the text slowly to devour and digest God’s Word. Let the Spirit speak to you through Scripture. Your life will never be the same.
Reading: 1 John 4:13-21
Have you ever had fear strike your heart? Sometimes it feels like a lightning bolt of panic, and at other times it is slow and gradual. Fear keeps us from trusting in the power of God and from living life fully. Fear hinders us from our full potential in Christ and limits God’s activity in our lives. When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, we decided to go on a hike in an area that had been washed away years prior by a hurricane. The trail was overgrown and marked by small pieces of tape that other brave souls had left behind for those who were to follow in their footsteps. Needless to say, we figured we would be able to make our way through easily. A few miles into our hike, my legs were cut from all of the stray thorns, my body was tired from tensing up and we had climbed, crawled and hugged tightly to the mountain. We were the only ones on the trail and it was eerily silent in the jungles of Hawaii. We eventually reached the summit and were overtaken by the view. As we stood above the clouds, my body felt limp at the majesty of the view around us. We were standing on the edge of a cliff, alone, amazed at this secret view most tourists would never see.
As we stood there, we noticed the clouds moving towards us. Within a few minutes, the clouds had overtaken us and completely clouded our view. I was terrified. We could no longer see the canyon beneath us. It was so white in front of us that someone could walk off the cliff never realizing the fall beneath them. Fear gripped my heart. The spectacular view was now clouded by a haze of white. The clouds moved in front of us and we could see the wisps of white vapor swirling around us. It was a site I may never see again and I almost missed it due to fear of beginning the trail. The memories and pictures of the canyon prove the hike and the cuts were worth it, but the clouds stole away our view and almost left us in despair.
How often does this happen in our life? Everything is going smoothly and you can see a beautiful road up ahead, but then the clouds of fear come and cloud the view leaving you helpless. What if we don’t have enough money to pay the bills? What if God doesn’t care for us like He cares for others? What if my dream fails? What if I don’t pass this class? What if I don’t get this job? What if my family member receives this diagnosis? What if this…? What if that…”? The “what ifs” of life are scary and paralyzing. The good news is, love trumps fear.
1 John 4:18-19 says:
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”
The perfect love of Christ was completed on the cross and has thrown out all fear that once gripped our hearts. Jesus has gone before us and cleared the path for us to have eternal life. As a believer, your life is secure in Him, however, the clouds of life still come. You want to know the beauty of the clouds? They are just water droplets, pure vapor of the sky. The clouds in Hawaii could not have harmed us. When the clouds overshadow you, remember that God created the vapor that makes up the clouds. He knows your troubles. He knows your worries. He knows your fears.
Love was perfected on the cross. John 19:30 records the last cry of Jesus on the cross of calvary, “It is finished.” In the Greek, those words are “tetelestai.” The word for “finished” is tele, and it means to bring to completion. Jesus finished the job that God sent him to do – to redeem humanity and conquer death. He completely paid the price for you and for me. In 1 John 4:18, the meaning of the word “perfect” is telelos, and it means finished. Isn’t that beautiful? Love was finished and made perfect on the cross. When Jesus cried out “tetelestai”, He completed the task and finished love. This perfect, finished love casts out your fear, sister. Perfect love has gone before you and paved the way.
What fears are holding you back from trusting God? What worries are weighing heavily on your soul? List them in your journal. Name your fears in the presence of God and allow His perfect love to cast out your fear. The cross bought your freedom. It is God’s will for you to live in that. Walk in the freedom of love today. Meditate on 1 John 4:19.