What Drives Out Fear?

Tuesday

What drives out fear? Love does.

Don’t believe me? Think back to a time when you were in love with somebody. How bold were you? How much hope did you have for the future? Did you do any crazy things with them because you were in love with them?

Right this minute, you are loved with a perfect love from a sinless Savior who sacrificed Himself so that you could live unhindered by fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless, it means complete. It means complete love.  Not a temporary infatuation but a deep developed love that stands the test of time and eternity.

His was a love that bleeds when the lash tore open His back and the splintered wood of the cross dug into it. A love that persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”.

When fear rises up to dismantle your faith or weave it’s tentacles around your feet to trip you up, you must remember this fact: You have nothing to fear. You are in love. 

Christ took your punishment completely so that you could be immersed in His love and be made whole.

Jesus walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that and it is His love that sets you free to love as freely and completely as you are loved.

What drives fear out?
Love.

The love of Jesus.

Hang your hat on it and get down to the business of loving others with the confident abandon that comes with it.

Simply Love

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“The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.”

1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭5 MSG

The whole point is to love others and live your life open to God.

To simply love and simply be loved.

To love God and love people.

It is simple but certainly not easy.

Self-interest complicates it. It is difficult to simply love others when your innate human desire to self-protect kicks in.

It is easier to go with the flow of human nature than to intentionally choose God’s way.

It is easier to hedge your bets against hurt than it is to be vulnerable and reach out.

It is easier to build your case of good reasons to disconnect than it is to lay them down and trust Jesus.

Going down that road, you will find yourself isolated and self-righteous instead of connected and invested.

A life open to God means that you recognize when human nature high jacks the work God wants to do in you and through you.

Sin complicates it, brokenness contaminates it, unforgiveness taints it.

The cross simplifies it.

The only way to deal with your human nature is to take it to the cross of Jesus.

The place He laid down His life and took up your sin.

He took your brokenness there so he could offer you wholeness here.

He took the bitterness of unforgiveness there, so he could offer you the sweetness of grace here.

The cross is where you can lay down your nature and freely take up his.

Be set free to be who God created you to be and simply love those who God brings to you- they need it as much as you do.

What do you need to take to the cross today?

What does living your life open to God mean to you?

Who, in your world, desperately needs your love?

Chosen 

  

There is little more painful than the sting of not getting picked to be on a team. As you get older it is replaced by the feeling of not getting the job, not getting the call back, not getting to be in a relationship you thought you needed. 

Not being chosen. It is easy for that fear to catch root in your life and influence the direction of your energy.  It can become like aninvisible sign you wear on your neck: unwanted, unworthy, not chosen. It is a lie.

As you begin this week, I want to remind you that you are loved and have been already chosen by God.  

“Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! 

God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. 

‭‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:13 ‭MSG‬‬

Chosen to be His. Embraced and pursued, loved and cherished by the Father of all creation. 

Let the lie of “not getting picked” also known as “no one will ever love me” fall at the feet of cross where it belongs.

Let Jesus to show you today how to live in the truth of cross: you are worth great sacrifice and chosen to be His. 

The bond of faith bought with the blood of Jesus Christ pursues you through a living relationship with him. 

It is relationship initiated by God and made possible by God that teaches you how to live in the truth that you are loved and you are chosen.