Perfect love. Is there really such a thing?
This is the fourth Sunday in Advent. If you follow the tradition of lighting a candle each Sunday in Advent, you will be lighting the candle of love.
Love. What can I say about love that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. So, this morning as I was lying in bed, quiet, I asked God to speak the verse into my heart that he wanted me to consider here with you. After some silence… it came:
“perfect love casts out fear”
I did not expect this verse for Christmas time. But, as I reflect and consider it with you, let’s look at the whole verse in its entirety:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear;
for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears
has not reached perfection in love.
What does this have to do with Christmas?
As I think back… the world was in great upheaval at the time of Christ’s birth. The Jews were ruled by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, as well as the very evil King Herod. People lived in fear. Great fear. They were looking for deliverance. They were looking for a new king, a good king. Those that knew the scriptures well, believed God was going to bring them a new king and a new kingdom. In the meantime, they lived in fear…. eagerly anticipating a new regime.
What does this verse have to do with us?
I think in this time we live, people are more fearful than ever.
- Many fear for our world political situation and who’s in charge.
- There are financial fears of all kinds.
- Many are afraid for their personal safety.
- And every parent has fears for their child’s safety.
I’m sure you can add to the list many times over.
Life is hard. Most of us want relief. Change. Deliverance.
Just like the ancients at the time of Christ’s birth desired and hoped.
God’s deliverance came in a different way.
It came through a demonstration of love.
God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone
who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news
that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
This is perfect love.
We no longer need to fear an ultimate punishment for all the bad things we’ve done. Jesus, God’s gift of perfect love, took on all our punishment as the ultimate display of love.
This sacrificial gift removes every reason for us to live in fear.
God provided a way for us to have an intimate relationship with him through Jesus Christ.
One day after speaking to thousands of people, Jesus sent his disciples on their way, so he could be alone to pray. As they were on their boat that night they were met with high winds and waves. A terrifying situation even for those who are seaworthy.
During this time Jesus met up with them… walking on the water. Needless to say, they thought they had seen a ghost.
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
That is what Christmas is all about.
Jesus with us… all the time.
Just like he told the disciples to not be afraid, he’s telling us the same thing.
Jesus is here.
Not in flesh, but his spirit is in everyone who chooses to follow him and make him Lord of their life.
If you want to experience that perfect love that casts out fear…
Pray and ask Jesus to save you from all the wrong things you’ve done and to be your Lord and guide.
And he will.
More than anything he wants to show you this amazing love he has for you. He wants you to let go of all that baggage you’ve been carrying around… loss, worry, fear, guilt, shame, _______, and to trust him to guide you in the way you should go. He promises to always be with you. Always. Never again will you be alone.
That’s perfect love.
That’s the love we celebrate at Christmas.
It’s Joy Day!
If I can pray for you or rejoice with you in your decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life… please let me know.
May this Christmas be the Christmas where your heart overflows with JOY… true joy!
The first day of the week here on the blog is always JOY DAY!
It’s the day when we look back over our week and count just seven things for which we’re grateful.
God thank you for
- this amazing love you have for us and the ultimate gift you’ve given… Jesus.
- dear friends who love us through difficulties and make us feel like family.
- unexpected sponsored posts.
- my network of blogging friends.
- a not-so-wintry winter so far.
- new possibilities and prospects.
- knowing that you have plans for us… plans to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future.
Now it’s your turn!
In the “share your extraordinary thoughts” below… list your “seven.”
Your JOY meter will rise. Absolutely no doubts.
Thanks so much for joining me here today!
May you experience Christmas in new, refreshing, and joy-filled ways this year.
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