VIDEO Perfect Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

In the small epistle of First John, we’re told the opposite of fear is love. When the love of God flows through us, we no longer fear meeting God in judgment. We have no abiding fear of the future. We long for His coming. We look forward to beholding Him. We’re filled with the anticipation of seeing Him face to face. Those who know Jesus don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, “What if I should die tonight and go stand before God?” 

You don’t have to be afraid of that; you’ve already made peace with God through Jesus Christ. He has forgiven your sin, and you are accepted by the Father.

It’s sad for God’s children to doubt His ability to keep His word to them about the security of their eternal destiny. Jesus paid it all, and we can rest securely in Him. The perfect love of God casts out our fear of the future.

God incarnate is the end of fear. F. B. Meyer


Why We Love Him, 1 John 4:16-19 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

What Are You?

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. Galatians 3:26

When I walked into the ice cream shop with my five-year-old biracial son, the man behind the counter glanced at me and stared at my child. “What are you?”

His question and harsh tone triggered the all-too-familiar anger and heartache I’d experienced growing up as a Mexican-American who didn’t fit stereotypes. Pulling Xavier closer, I turned toward my Black husband as he entered the store. With eyes narrowed, the store clerk completed our order in silence.

I prayed silently for the man as my son listed the flavors of ice cream he wanted to try. Repenting of my bitterness, I asked God to give me a spirit of forgiveness. With my light-but-not-white complexion, I’d been the target of similar glares accompanying that same question over the years. I’d struggled with insecurities and feelings of worthlessness until I began learning how to embrace my identity as God’s beloved daughter.

The apostle Paul declares that believers in Jesus are “all children of God through faith,” equally valued and beautifully diverse. We’re intimately connected and intentionally designed to work together (Galatians 3:26–29). When God sent His Son to redeem us, we became family through His blood shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (4:4–7). As God’s image-bearers, our worth cannot be determined by the opinions, expectations, or biases of others.

What are we? We’re children of God.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

When have you doubted your value as a person due to the opinions, expectations, or biases of others? How does knowing all God’s children are His image-bearers help you love those who are different from you?

Father God, please help me to see myself and others through Your eyes. Help me love with Your heart as I come into contact with people who are different from me.

How God Views Unbelievers

God is loving and merciful, but it is a harsh truth that the spiritually dead will experience His wrath

Ephesians 2:1-5

God’s Word is always true, but sometimes it comes across as confrontational when it exposes our erroneous thinking. One truth that’s often considered challenging is the way God describes the desperate state of those who are without Christ. They are …

  • Dead in their offenses and sins. Spiritual death came to all people as a result of Adam’s sin, leaving the human race under God’s condemnation (Eph. 2:1).  
  • Unable to grasp spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Their minds are darkened, and they cannot understand the things of God. 
  • Outside of God’s family. Spiritually, there are only two families in the world: the family of God and the family of Satan (John 8:44).
  • Under God’s wrath. Unbelievers, even the ones who are kind and loving, are under judgment because of their unforgiven sins (Eph. 2:3). 

Those without Christ are in grave danger and don’t realize it. They need to hear the bad news before they can see their need for a Savior. So find a way to carefully give them these hard truths, and explain how they can be rescued: Through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on their behalf, they can escape God’s wrath and condemnation. 

Paul and Titus

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 1:4)

On the surface, this verse might be considered insignificant and could easily be missed, for it is part of a lengthy greeting to Titus by Paul at the beginning of this very practical book. However, many nuggets are contained therein, and it is well worth our study.

Titus was one of Paul’s most trusted companions. He was a faithful worker who had accompanied Paul on a number of his journeys. Late in Paul’s life, after years of discipleship, Paul asked Titus to carry on the work he had started in Crete, an island well known for its deplorable moral state. Paul may have been instrumental in Titus’ initial conversion, for he calls him “mine own son,” literally “my true child,” a very endearing term. The bond of “common faith” gave them a mutual goal, and, of course, it is the same faith that we share today.

Paul greets Titus with “grace, mercy, and peace.” Grace is a manifestation of God’s love toward undeserving rebels, resulting in forgiveness and blessing. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Mercy is the attitude of God toward those who are in distress. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Peace comes as a result of the restoration of harmony between God and the forgiven one. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

This threefold blessing comes from both “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” What a comfort to recognize both Father and Son as involved in the bestowment of all aspects of our salvation. JDM

His Glory

All You have made will praise You, Lord; the godly will bless You. They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom and will declare Your might, informing [all] people of Your mighty acts and of the glorious splendor of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; Your rule is for all generations (Psalm 145 vv. 10-13).

I read the words of this passage and try to envision the kingdom described here—it’s glory, it’s splendor, it’s everlastingness!

God’s kingdom—not made with hands—is filled with his glory and reflects his power and might. At the center—radiant and brighter than the sun—is the King himself. His dominion is not transitory; it is an everlasting kingdom, enduring through all generations (v. 13).

So moved am I that I break forth into a song of praise:

Personal Prayer

King of kings, I praise you for your mighty deeds in my life and look forward to joining that “angelic rain” in glory!

Praise to the King

You are my God and King,

Of Your greatness I will sing;

I will thank You all my days

And thru eternity give Your praise.

I sing of Your wondrous fame

And bow before your name;

For You rule in sovereignty

And reign in glorious majesty.

I give thanks for Your goodness

And celebrate Your kindness.

I bow in humility

Before all You’ve done for me.

Then someday when You come for me

I’ll be caught up to glory,

And I’ll join the angelic train

To sing of Your sovereign reign.

Words and music by Don Wyrtzen © 1980 Singspiration.

Under the Surface

I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity.—Joel 2:28

What are some evidences of the Spirit-filled life? How do we know when we are fully indwelt by the divine Paraclete?

I am not going to begin where you might expect, in the area of spiritual gifts, but in a realm I believe to be equally important yet seldom mentioned. I refer to the area of the subconscious.

The longer I live, the more I feel the church has missed its way here. We have talked much about the works of the Spirit on the conscious level but little of His work at a subconscious level. We have failed to see, generally speaking, that part of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian is to project His power and presence into the depths of the personality—even the subconscious.

We are told that about one-tenth of the mind is conscious and the other nine-tenths subconscious. Like the iceberg, which is nine-tenths submerged, life is largely lived in the submerged part of our being. Now, if this is so, then it becomes evident at once that if the submerged nine-tenths is not working with the conscious purposes of the one-tenth, then there is going to be a serious division, and a division this serious becomes divisive. Whatever controls the nine-tenths greatly influences the one-tenth. The Holy Spirit wants to project Himself into that submerged part of our being in order to harness those untamed forces and make them work for us and not against us. Then the subconscious is no longer an enemy but a friend.

Prayer

O God, my Father, I am grateful that You have provided for my deepest need—the need of unifying and controlling the depths within me. My heart tingles at the thought that I can be unified—on the inside. Thank You, Father. Amen.

Further Study

Jl 2:18-32; Rm 12:2; 1Co 14:3; 2Tm 1:7; Mt 12:25

What did Joel prophesy?

What is the difference between dreams and visions?

The Star in The East

Matthew 2:9-11

There’s a light in the sky,

Though the sky be dark;

It’s the light of the Star in the East.

There’s a song in the storm,

Though the storm be long;

It’s the song that my heart loves the best.

It’s the song that broke over Bethlehem’s hill,

The angels’ song: Peace on earth, goodwill!

And the song made the whole wide world to thrill,

Lovely song of the Star in the East.

There’s a thorn on the rose

That in fragrance grows

In the woodlands of friendship and peace.

Oft the flesh must be torn,

Ere the rose be born.

That will give to its sweetness release.

To bring joy to others my heart must mourn,

The worth of peace is best proved in storm.

‘Twas the song in the night brought the Christmas morn,

’twas the song of the Star in the East.

Oh, come to Jesus, bring Him your care,

Your sin He’ll pardon, your griefs He’ll share,

He’s so tender, so strong, so true, so kind;

Oh, I love Him by far more than all.

Evangeline Booth, Carolers’ Favorites