1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives our fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
As I read the first four books of the New Testament I saw a theme on what Jesus taught the disciples. He taught them about love and having faith. Peach and love go hand in hand. You cannot have faith and not love, and you cannot have peace without faith.
Lisa Bevere in Without Rival states: Fear is costly. It will steal your thoughts, your dreams, your relationships, your finances, your faith and your hope. Love is constant, it is supremely generous. It seeks to restore your relationships, your dreams and your hopes.
Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13, you know the verse we quote at each other when we talk about the love walk. Let us do a little something different. Let us replace love with fear.
Fear is impatient and unkind while it envies and boasts; it is arrogant and rude. Fear insists on it’s own way; it is irritable and resentful; rejoices in wrong doing, rather than in truth. Fear bears nothing, believes nothing, hopes nothing, endures nothing. Fear will end.
When I inserted fear here, I saw some attributes of my self that I did not like. So I started saying this over myself daily:
Amanda is patient (suffers long). Amanda is kind. Amanda does not envy. Amanda does not boast (or parade herself). Amanda is not proud (puffed up). Amanda does not dishonor others (behave rudely). Amanda is not self seeking. Amanda is not easily angered (provoked). Amanda keeps no records of wrongs (thinks evil). Amanda does not delight in evil (rejoice in iniquity). Amanda rejoices in truth. Amanda always protects (bears all things). Amanda always trusts (believes all things). Amanda always hopes. Amanda always perseveres (endures). Amanda never fails.
I did a study not to long ago with my youth. My study Bible expounded on this verse a little more for my group:
Love "suffers long" means that God's love has patience with imperfect people. "Love does not envy" means that real love wants other people to get ahead. "Love does not parade itself" means that Bible love doesn't put on a big show in order to impress others. Love "is not puffed up" or "proud" refers to the fact that people who walk in God's love do not have big heads. Love "does not seek it's own" means that it is not self-centered and selfish but instead looks out fo the needs of others. Love "is not provoked"; it is not irritable under pressure. Still working on this one!! Love "thinks no evil" means it doesn't keep a record of wrongs done to it and is constantly forgiving. Love "does not rejoice in iniquity" and does not rejoice in the mistakes and failures of others. The "God don't like ugly" statement makes my skin crawl. Love "rejoices in the truth" means that it believes in what is open and hones. Love "bears all things" is the kind of love that defends and hold other people up. Love "believes" the best about other people. Love "hopes all things" means that it never gives up on people. Love "endures all things" is love that perseveres and is loyal to the end.
When I read this, it made me think of Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Have you had a hard time choosing to meditate on these types of things? You know it is a choice. When we choose not to meditate this way about our situation or about people then we choose fear, the opposite of peace. Which means we choose not to love.
Do you know how I know I am not walking in His perfect love? When I do not have His peace. The peace that you can have by taking a nap in a raging storm (Mark 4:37-38).
Do you know how I know I am not walking in His perfect love?
When I do not have His peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, with surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Your requests are made known to God, not Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Tik Tok, etc.
Then we do verse 8 (think only on the pure, lovely, virtuous), and verse 9 is our promise: The thing which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
I have to make a choice in my mind and heart to love. I can walk in peace during the storms. The storm is where my destiny will be revealed, and I want to walk in my destiny! How many, like myself, see an area of the love walk that we can work on? It is okay that we still have work to do. It means that we have a destiny. He created us for good things and He is preparing us just for that (Ephesians 2:10). This mess that I got into will be used one day to lead others to Jesus. Remember love endures all things and is loyal to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
If all Christians put 1 Corinthians 13 into practice, what a difference this world would be.
Exactly…it’s a daily effort! It’s a daily examination of one’s self.