Fear and hatred or compassion and mercy?

June 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NAS))

It has been said that there is a thin line between fear and hate. If you fear others, then it is because you are close to hating others. This is probably not intentional, but, it is true.

It is through love that hatred is abolished, and through this, fear is abated. You cannot fear someone that you love. They are opposite extremes and diametrically opposed to each other. You either love with no fear, or you fear with hatred as the root.

We are to live with Jesus as the example. Jesus did not know fear or hatred. He had compassion and mercy on all that He encountered. It was their reactions to Him that set the tone of the interactions. No matter what happened, Jesus always responded in love and mercy. If we are to be followers of Jesus, then we, too, should respond to all whom we see with love and mercy. Jesus gave us instructions on what to do.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
(John 13:34-35)

How well have you carried out this new commandment? Can others tell that you are a disciple of Jesus?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God’s perfect love!

March 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that you loved someone but spent most of your time afraid that you would lose the love of that person?

I think that all of us have had that type of experience when we started dating.

Fear is a force that all too often we find at the center of our lives. We fear the loss of a job. We fear the loss of a home. We fear the loss of our wealth. We fear the loss of our fame. Fear is a major weapon used by Satan against us. It causes us to cling tightly to something that is delicate. Love is delicate. Love is the thing that the enemy frequently attacks through fear.

I often think that fear and love are close to polar opposites. Fear is often one step away from hate and often leads to hate. Think back on your early dating. Was there a situation where love was fearful and eventually lead to hate?

Human love is a frail thing.

When we love, often we want to possess what we love. This love is a selfish love and is only interested in the proverbial what’s in it for me. We fear losing the possession and punish each other because of our selfish motives.

Be thankful that God does not have a love like this toward us!

It is true that He longs for us to rejoice, but He does not force us to do anything. God’s love is patient. Is our love toward God as patient? Do we fear God’s love? Do we try to keep God’s love in the same type of confining box as we have tried to put our love?

God is much more than our feeble attempts at love can comprehend. He is capable of so much more than we can understand. He is capable of so much more love than we can understand.

Would you send your only son to die so that others may live? Would you willingly give something so precious with no guarantee that the gift would be accepted? God loves us unconditionally. He loves us far beyond our ability to comprehend. His love is perfect. We, are His creation, had fallen into sin. God, out of His perfect love for us, reached out to us in our sin and offered us salvation from the death that is the consequences of sin. He did not cause us to sin. He did not need to do anything to offer us salvation, He did not need to reach out to us in our sin. We had placed ourselves in that predicament. God did not do it to us.

Even so, God’s love is perfect. He had a plan. He had a perfect love!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
(John 3:16-18 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


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