1 John 4:18 - Love and Fear Don't Mix!
1 John 4:18 - Love and Fear Don't Mix!
1 John 4:18 (ESV) 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.
1 John 4:18 (CWR) Fear and love just don't go together. Love
dispels fear because fear focuses on punishment and won't let love
mature. The one who is afraid of God does not understand God's love.
1 John 4:18 (MSG) There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed
love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of
death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
Love is evidence of salvation. If you are born of God through
faith in Jesus Christ, you have His nature within (2 Pet. 1:4). Since
"God is love" (vv. 8, 16), His children who have His nature should
also manifest His love. The children should be like the Father!
Our love for others makes God's love real and visible to them
(v. 12) so we can better witness to them about Christ. It also makes
God real and personal to us. Merely reading in the Bible about God's
love is not enough. Seek to experience that love in your heart by
sharing it with others.
Just as truth is victorious over lies (vv. 1-6), love is
victorious over fear (vv. 17-19). As you mature in your love for God, you
realize that you have nothing to fear, for your Father has everything
under control. You trust those you love, and faith and love will give
victory over fear. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren
The Highest Dynamic in the Universe
George Macdonald describes love as what is most precious in
the Godhead. He writes that love is "a higher thing than the making
of worlds and the things in them." He says this in exploring the
many implications of the first chapter of John with its reference to
Christ: "He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything
through him.... The Word gave life to everything that was created, and
his life brought light to everyone" (NLT).
For MacDonald, the deepest essence of God is the dynamic love
between the Father and the Son.
We find plenty of scriptural support for that, including 1
John 4:8, which states it simply and plainly: "God is love" (NLT).
The mystery of how we could be drawn into this love goes far
beyond our grasp. Yet the way Jesus stayed in constant prayer to his
Father gives us a clue. The astounding promise that we can become
children of the heavenly Father means we can pray as Jesus prayed and
invite his Spirit of love and truth to become dynamic in us.
If we are to be like Jesus, we will naturally love the
This comes, of course, with requirements. Obeying his Father
cost Jesus the Cross. To obey our loving heavenly Father may cost us
many things, starting with our self-will and our natural bent to run
our own lives without interference. Praying like a child means
obeying like a child, with both love and respect.
MacDonald emphasizes that Jesus loved the Father with his
whole being. As his redeemed children, we are now from "the same birth
home" as Jesus. His Father is our Father. What a wonderful reality to
Loving Father above, fill my mind and heart, I pray, with the
realization and conviction that you are love and that you love me. Pour your
love into me that I might, in some small way, love you back as Jesus
does. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra]
Ole Hallesby describes our times of prayer when the Spirit
works in us as wonderful times of rest we can anticipate with joy. He
also says the time of prayer should be not only a resting place but
also a workshop.
Power and grace from heaven come through prayer, and Hallesby
urges us to avail ourselves of what God wants to give. He paints a
picture of Jesus after his ascension to heaven, reaching his arm so far
down to us that we who are small and sinful can reach it every time
we pray. "Whenever we touch his almighty arm, some of his
omnipotence streams in upon us, into our souls and into our bodies. And not
only that, but through us, it streams out to others."
When Hallesby gets specific about prayer's workshop
practicality, it cuts close to the bone: "We should say to God as we mingle
with our dear ones each day, 'God, give them each thy blessing. They
need it, because they live with me, and I am very selfish and
unwilling to sacrifice very much for them, although I do love them.'"
Whatever we may feel about that self-indicting prayer, his
prediction that such prayers would bring "a good spirit to our homes" rings
Hallesby points out something we'll seldom admit - we
sometimes make critical remarks in our minds about people we see. He
challenges us with this exhortation:
"Just think if the Spirit of God could make the new nature
within us so strong that we would automatically lift our hearts in
prayer to God every time we met someone."
Instead of critical thoughts, we would pray God's blessing on
others. "Wherever we go," Hallesby says, "we meet people who are in need
of something. If the Spirit could give us that open eye of love, we
would turn to the Lord and tell him the needs of both our friends and
of our enemies. That is how he would like to have us pray."
Father, as I meet people today, help me to see them with your
eyes. I pray for your Spirit to love them through me. Instead of
judging others, help me to pray for them. [The One Year Book of
Encouragement by Harold Myra re vs. 19]
What a remarkable thing that we can rely on the love of God.
How amazing that we get to experience that love because all who live
in love live in God and God lives in them. That love does not
originate in us but in God's love for us. Our love for God is not perfect
or complete, but his love is perfect and complete and as we abide
in him by his Spirit, our love will grow more complete. In all our
trials we can know that God loves us more than we can imagine. This
love rescued us from darkness and brought us into his marvelous
light. This love covers all of our sins. It will equip us to stand
before the Lord on the Day of Judgment with confidence, not with fear.
This love is so powerful that with it we can live victoriously and
fearlessly because "perfect love expels all fear." Take a few moments to
meditate on the love of God and to draw near to him in thanksgiving and
Lord Of Love, thank you for first loving me! As we live in
you, our love grows more complete. Although I don't understand all
the trials I may go through, I trust in your love for me. Help me to
abide in you. Fill me with your perfect love that casts out all fear
so that I can live in confidence and rest in you and share your
amazing love with those around me. [Praying Through The Bible by Fuller
re vv. 16-18]
Sometime in my early twenties, I woke up one night with a
strange sensation: panic, fear, utter helplessness. This was the early
eighties, and I didn't know that the strange thing happening to me was a
panic attack. I did the only things I knew to do--pray and sing. I
flipped on my bedroom light and reached for my Bible. Although I didn't
understand the source of this terror, I did understand this: God's perfect
love casts out all fear. I prayed and quoted Scripture for several
moments, and the sense of fear and panic went away.
Off I went to college, where I enjoyed the life of a sorority
girl while sidelining my relationship with God. Once I graduated,
though, I wanted to change, to be serious about God and about loving
him. I moved to a new town and took a job that would fulfill one of
my lifelong secret dreams--to travel. I was to go from California to
Maine, Canada to Venezuela, Ireland to Australia. But the fear--a
paralyzing claustrophobia this time--struck again. The idea of spending
hours on an airplane only heightened my panic. But I knew I couldn't
give in. I had to trust and believe. I would literally sit on a plane
repeating Bible verses to myself until the panic subsided.
During long international flights, in strange cities where no
one spoke my language, my only choice was to rest in God's Word and
his love. In a way, those panic attacks were a great gift. They
drove me to depend on God alone. I found a strong church family who
prayed for me. I had some soulish and spiritual housecleaning to do,
but Jesus' perfect love delivered as promised. No longer do I live
Rachel Hauck--a worship leader and the author of Georgia on
Her Mind, Lost in NashVegas, and several other novels--lives in Palm
Bay, Florida, with her husband, Tony, a pastor. [The One Year Bible
Live Verse Devotional]
Suppose you had a friend who was in serious financial
trouble. What would you do for that person? Would you help bail him or
her out or give financial counseling? What if your friend's problem
was health related? Or worse, what if your friend was in trouble
with the law? How far would you go out of your way to help this
In this reading, John illustrates how far Jesus went to save
us from our serious spiritual trouble - sin. Through Jesus'
sacrifice, we see what true love really is. As John points out, we now have
a standard against which to compare our love for others.
Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. His
death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins came as a result of
his love. His selfless, sacrificial gift models how we should show
love to one another (1 John 3:16).
To love someone means to be like Jesus to that person - to be
selfless and to give sacrificially. Loving this way ignores all the
enticements that normally compel us to be nice to people, such as the
personal benefits we may gain from doing so. Also, loving others as Jesus
did may not feel good all the time. This kind of love regards
others' welfare above our own, and it may cost an awful lot (pride,
possessions, time, money). It may cost everything.
If you truly want to reach out to others, extend to them what
God extended to you: unconditional love. [The One Year Through the
Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re 1 John 3:11-16]
I am the Gift that continuously gives ~ bounteously, with no
strings attached. Unconditional Love is such a radical concept that even
My most devoted followers fail to grasp it fully. Absolutely
nothing in heaven or on earth can cause Me to stop loving you. You may
feel more loved when you are performing according to your
expectations. But My Love for you is perfect; therefore it is not subject to
variation. What does vary is your awareness of My loving Presence.
When you are dissatisfied with your behavior, you tend to
feel unworthy of My Love. You may unconsciously punish yourself by
withdrawing from Me and attributing the distance between us to My
displeasure. Instead of returning to Me and receiving My Love, you attempt to
earn My approval by trying harder. All the while, I am aching to hold
you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My Love. When you are
feeling unworthy or unloved, come to Me. (1 John 4:15-18; Deu. 33:27;
Psa. 13:5) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
GREAT VIDEO CLIP - ONE OF THE BEST
SPECIAL VIDEO CLIP ON SEEKING GOD FIRST
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD:
EXCELLENT BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES - Prophecies Decoded By Dr. Ron
1. Coming Soon: A New Superpower -
2. 2012 and Signs of the End of the World -
3. Armageddon and the Seven Last Plagues -
4. War in Heaven Between Michael and the Dragon -
5. Revelation's Three Angels' Messages -
6. The Lamb Slain and the Seven Seals -
7. A New Revelation of Jesus Christ -
8. The Anti-Christ and the Cults that Follow Him -
9. In Search of the Ark of the Covenant -
10. The Greatest Issue in the Book of Revelation, Part 1 -
11. The Greatest Issue in the Book of Revelation, Part II -
12. How to Keep God's Holy Day, Part 1 -
13. How to Keep God's Holy Day, Part 2 -
14. Taking a Stand at the Time of the End -
15. The Longest Time Prophecy in the Bible -
16. Doctrines of Demons and the Mystery of Death -
17. The Fall of Babylon the Great -
18. The Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God -
19. Israel and the Rapture of the Church -
20. The United States in Bible Prophecy -
21. The Beauty and the Beast of Revelation -
22. The Remnant's Use of Time, Treasure, and Talent -
23. The One Thousand Year Millennium -
24. Revelation's Lake of Fire -
25. Heaven and the Apocalypse -
26. A Messenger for the Last Days -
27. Christian Standards for Today -
28. The Work of the Holy Spirit in Your Life -