God’s Fear Breaking Love

7th June

..God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgement, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”

1 John 4:16b-18

Today’s key verses is one of the clearest demonstrations in the whole Bible of how much God really does love us. Of course, Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross, fully demonstrated how much He loved us, but these verses spell it out plainly and clearly through understandable words.

John tells us that God is love and if we live in God and He lives in us, then His love will live in us too. Moreover, it is His love in our lives that transforms us; not only in our love towards God and others, but in our understanding of how much God loves us, despite of our sins and mistakes. John says that we can ‘face Him with confidence’ on the day of judgement because Jesus’ love has washed away our sins. John alludes to the ultimate act of love on the cross, where Jesus gave up His life for our sins, cleansing us from all our unrighteousness and clothing us in HIS righteousness. This love washes away our sins, and transforms our lives so radically, that we no longer need to live in fear of God’s judgement. Because we are loved, we can walk in the freedom of His forgiveness, free from judgement and condemnation. Isn’t that a great feeling? To know you are so loved by Almighty God, that you don’t have to live in fear of His wrath!?

Our challenge is to not allow the enemy to plant thoughts of fear in our hearts, because they do not come from God. There is no fear in Him; His perfect love expels our fear. Let us ask for more of God’s Spirit to help us understand the fullness of this love, and how much we truly are loved.

The Spirit Gives Boldness

6th June

“‘After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”

Acts 4:31

Imagine a world where it is illegal to talk about Jesus, worship Him and even mention His Name. For some across the world today, this is a reality; just like it was in Peter’s time after Jesus’ resurrection. The Christians were being fiercely persecuted, constantly imprisoned and often beaten for sharing the truth about Jesus. It seems un-thinkable to think that people would want the truth of Jesus’ love and mercy to be kept quiet, yet this was the harsh reality for the early church, and still is for some Christians around the world today.

So if the church was caught up in such a fierce persecution, then how did the Good News of Jesus Christ spread across the world? The answer, by the power of the Holy Spirit, through His bold disciples. When you look at Peter’s life before Jesus’ death, boldness wouldn’t be an adjective used to describe his character. When faced with persecution, in the form of those asking if he had known Jesus, he blatantly denied even knowing Jesus. Yet just a few chapters on, in the book of Acts, we see him boldly preaching the word of God to crowds of over 3000, in the face of persecution and despite being hunted down by the enemies of the church. This is the power of the Holy Spirit. It is life changing. He gives us supernatural giftings to do things we humanly wouldn’t be able to do, until we are doing them so much, that it starts to become our character.

Being brave in the Spirit doesn’t mean that you’re not afraid, Peter probably still was. It simply means that you don’t let fear stop you from doing what God has called you to do, because you know that He has equipped you and is with you. Be empowered. Be brave.