October 28, 2018 - Inscriptions From The Heart
October 28, 2018
Pastor Tonyvic Tira
Love that casts out fear
“16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world.18 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.19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (ESV, 1 John 4:16-21)
What do recreational cannabis, a homeless caravan, and bomb threats have in common? They are all major news items from the past week, and they are all opportunities for Christians to show love. It is a common sentiment that the Christian way of living is under attack, whether from changes in societal values, the threat of migrant influences, or political regimes who claim to act in support of God’s words yet act in contradiction to God’s Word. Sooner or later, the bride of Christ is going to have to decide whether they want to be right (and in control) or holy (submitting to God’s sovereignty).
In 1 John 4, God’s people are reminded of 3 things: (1) abiding in God is to abide in love, for the purpose of being in the world (vv. 16,17); (2) abiding in love is not emotional sentiment but rather purposely antagonistic to fear (vv. 18,19); and (3) to love God is to demonstrate the same sacrificial love God has for us to others (vv. 20,21). As God’s people our love ought to be integral, intentional, and important. God’s love for us is missional and our love ought to be as well.
So how do we ensure our love is missional? Ask yourself these questions: (1) Am I loving others, the way God loves me? (2) Are people experiencing freedom from my love? (3) Is my love for the world rooted in God’s love for the world? As God’s people we are called to actively and intentionally engage the world with love, this love must be founded on God’s incredible love (demonstrated through the person of Jesus Christ). When we as Christians are willing to love sacrificially (even our rights), we love as Jesus does, and this love casts out fear.