Wednesday, October 15

Perfect love.....something worth fighting for.

John 8:12 (NLT) "Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life""
"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]." 1 John 4:18 (AMP)

The First John verse that I recieved today, from the email, is often used in the prosperity teachings as the foundation for total health, wealth, and joy. After all, if we have love, we cannot fear....that is what the teaching is.
That requires, it seems, that we deny the sinful and broken humanity exists anymore after the conversion of sinner to saint within the sight of God. It puts the full effect of denial of actual salvation upon the 'performance' of our life after the said prayer, the attendance at church, or other notable moments where we have declared to the multitude or the few that we now follow the Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. After all, once saved, we should never sin again. So it must be something that we are allowing to happen; i.e., demonic past possession or denial of our own power, that is keeping us from the full effect of God's love.

It is true, there is no fear in love. There is no limitations in that power which resides within those walls. There is nothing, no place, and no distance to which such love can exists. God proves it, beyond denying, by the crucifixtion of His only Begotten Son for a creation which continues to deny their design, creation, and need of a Savior and the Heavenly Father who sent Him. Full-grown love is beyond fear.

Godly love, agape love, knows no fear, terror, or doubt. And all Christians are in various stages of relearning that generational love, lost through the actions of Adam and Eve, and every man since the 'dawn of time.'

We aren't there yet....and probably will never be until our Savior comes again. But, with the standards set and the ability found in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, we continue to press on to the realization of that perfect love, mature and complete in its application and supplication.

We all are sinners, fallen short of the glorious splendor and strength of God. We have fallen away from the design to which we were created and fight a battle between our flesh (self-serving) and godliness (sacrificial service) because of the Fall and the turning away from God. This love is not bound by our humanity and is not limited to our fearful experiences. The progression to which we are called is evident though in our dealings with our brethren and others.

It is said that such perfect love doesn't not give life to anger, but I would put it out that such perfection of agape love has only righteous anger in its expression....devoid of self-serving things that makes anger such a destructive force. Pride, self-justification, self-protection. Righteous anger, expressed by God, is the only anger that perfect love breathes life to.

Those who follow Christ no longer walk in the darkness of blind self-protection, self-serving sin. The inadequacies of our sinful nature are brought into the harsh, glaring light of day, no longer avoidable or deniable. It is proof of our conversion that we don't shy away from that realization, but through the strength of Christ, walk boldly forward into those wounds and habits of the past dark life and endeavour to realize Christ's victory over them.

It is our dealing with wayward brethren, speaking the Truth for redemption, not justification, that expresses our journey to perfect love. It is our movement in troubled times that shows who we are trying to emulate as we love even the still lost. It is our walk, imperfectly trying to become perfect, that shows the love that we have inside, the love of God in Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

That is perfect love. And as we grow in its brightness, we shall realize the childish foolishness of our human fear.

"They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error," Matthew Henry states, "and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin."

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