Perfect Love Casts Out Fear Part 7

7 Oct

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

18b  For fear has to do with punishment. Isn’t that interestingly worded? There’s a connection between punishment and fear.  I remember once when I was little, my sister brought home a dog—one of a series of lost dogs that Patti wanted us to keep.  Whenever we got near it, it put its tail between its legs and its head down and to the side, and skittered nervously around.  When we tried to pet it, it cowered.  “He’s been hit,” Dad explained, “His last owner treated him badly.  It’s would take a long time for him to trust us.”  Some of us come to the Lord skittishly, too–we’ve been treated badly by life and are afraid He’s going to “hit” us.

Or perhaps we’ve been wrongly taught with an emphasis on our works.  In other words, we’ve been taught that our relationship with God is all cause and effect—if I do “A”, God will do “B.”  That’s kind of like treating God like a genie whom we can control by rubbing the bottle just right, and asking the perfect questions.

But God just wants to have a love relationship with us.  He wants us to put Him in first place in our lives.  Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t condemn us.  We shouldn’t condemn ourselves either.

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