God’s Perfect Love // 1 John 4:18
I love today’s verse where John contrasts love and fear. He indicated that fear is fueled by a threat of punishment. The love of God, especially coming to us in the flesh of Jesus, proves that God’s ultimate motivation is love. And it isn’t just motivation, because love is God’s character…His very nature. When we read about God’s perfect love, that shows a completeness, wholeness (much like how we explored peace in yesterday’s message). This is not a perfection as we know it in our realm, this is a perfection of eternal significance. This is the very same groovy kind of love God has for you, even in spite of your own complete imperfection. So what are we to do when we come face-to-face with our own shortcomings? Focus on God’s perfection and not your imperfection. The Lord’s perfect love comes to overwhelm your life and shape your intentions to live a life of perfect love for Him and others. This is the echo of Jesus’ teaching about the greatest of all commandments, “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Let God’s perfect love overcome your imperfection. Don’t let your shortcomings fear God’s punishment, but find a complete peace knowing God loves you completely. He does, and that will drive out all kinds of fear.