Perfect Love

Sunday, March 27, 2022
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1 John 4:18 – 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. (NIV)

As part of the history class that I took in high school, I had to study the origins of World War II. Our class spent several weeks focusing on the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and how he motivated the American people to deal with the Great Depression, as well as leading them through the dark days of the global war. We also had to learn his exceptional words — which are still often quoted — from his first inaugural speech in 1933: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

There's no doubt that we are living in anxious times. Most of the good folks I know are fearful of the future because COVID-19 has robbed them of their confidence. Others feel that partisan politics has become an extreme problem and that we are heading toward a severe conflict which will divide our communities, our congregations, and our families. The longer that this uncertainty continues, the deeper our divisions; the more that our unfettered concerns grow, the fewer connections that we will have with one another. Fearing our fears will erode our trust; fueling our fears will break our nation.

All this has happened before. Centuries ago, when Christians were truly being persecuted and the survival of the church was questionable, old men like the apostle John called upon the community of faith to face their fear by replacing it with love. To be fearful was to punish oneself with anxiety; to be faithful was to replenish oneself with love. John fully believed that our lives are meant to be focused on love and not overwhelmed with fear.

Today, Christ's church, as always, has the remedy to reduce our fears and relinquish our anxieties. The Spirit of Christ within us has the power to overcome the spirit of spite outside us. Fear is a manipulator which imprisons our souls with lies; faith is a motivator which frees our spirits with love.

Question: Am I willing to bring all my fears to Christ and exchange them for His love?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know that we live in fearful times. Grant us Your love so that we may transform them into faithful times. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Good one. Thanks.

    AMEN, John, and thank you.

    A good word, John. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, John, for your inspiration and God’s solution.

    Thank you, John. So true.

    I always find your distinctive devotionals of great help to me, many thanks to you.

    This was well-spoken today with a good reminder of bringing our fears to Christ rather than allowing them to overwhelm us.

    Thanks John, it is good to hear that others believe that “our lives are to be meant to be focused on love and not overwhelmed with fear”, gives us peace in these trying times of so much fear. Blessings.

    Thank you, John, for another of your very special and very mindful devotional writings. Truly there is no greater love than which we receive from our loving Lord. Worshiping Him and faith in His word gives us great strength in times that otherwise could be very fearful. Blessings for these writings you do.

    John, thank you for presenting this prescription for love versus fear so eloquently. It gives me much hope and calm as I am sure will do for others too. The quote from F. Roosevelt rings so true. Your wise and wonderful words really meant much for me today.
    Sincerely and with thanks.

    Good morning John
    This is beautiful and such a strong truth. Praying people would realize that in their hearts and minds.
    Believing God will bring this to be something my husband will be able to share in testimonies of God’s Perfect love. He is in intensive care, told congestive heart failure, but I believe the report of the Lord and things He is showing me to keep me encouraged.
    God bless.

    Dear John,
    You have said it all. “To be fearful was to punish oneself with anxiety; to be faithful was to replenish oneself with love.”
    Yes, we need to replenish ourselves with God’s love and then we will be able to reach out to others with love, comfort, and peace.
    Great song with this devotional because when we let God take care of us, we are ready to take care of others.
    I wasn’t sure by your title where you were going to lead us, but I didn’t expect your thoughts which are so full of encouragement. Thank you and may you continue to encourage us all towards God’s love. Blessings.

    Amen, John! Blessings.

    Good morning John,
    We are living in fearful times for sure, why can’t people love each other, or like, or if that fails at least tolerate. It would solve a lot of problems.
    Thank you for your good words.

    Amen and amen! Blessings.


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