Nov 17, 2007

No fear in love

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

This is a challenging passage to me. If there's no fear in love and I'm afraid of what could happen in the future, then something is deficient in my love for God or my understanding and enjoyment of God's love for me. The primary focus of the passage is on wrongly being afraid of God's punishment when Christ has already dealt with what we deserve in dying for us on the cross. But, I think there's a broader application. According to Scripture, God rules over every circumstance in our lives for good, and if we're afraid of the future, we either don't understand the depths of God's love for us or we're not embracing and enjoying it in faith. Lord, I pray that I could "have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [I could] be filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph 3:18-19).

I wish there were something that would cast out grief.

Ian continues to make very tiny steps of progress. Recently, Mary was feeding him pizza all chopped up finely with some cheesecake flavored pudding for dessert. He didn't eat much, but it was more than he had eaten in one sitting prior to that.

Thank you for your prayers.



Sandy said...

Ha, when I first read through the post...this shows how my brain works; I thought you wrote that Ian had eaten chopped up pizza with cheese cake flavored pudding...mixed together. No wonder he did not eat much.
Of course that is not what you wrote or meant. I was just confused.
But Steve, I love the way you expounded that scriture. It is so true. Fear is the enemy of perfect love, since love covers all. Everything. Thank you for again encouraging me to press on, pursue Him as He would have us pursue Him, for the God He is, not the One we would like him to be.

Lisa said...

My name is Lisa R. I live in Bethlehem, PA. I heard about Ian from his friend, Jana Emeigh. I have been reading this blog since the end of last September and am so thrilled with his progress, yet pray for a miracle and that he would come back. I wanted to thank you, also, for leading me to Baby Livi's blog. I have been reading Emily's blog since you mentioned Livi on this blog, and they have touched my heart. I felt priveledged in a way to be able to be at Livi's funeral. I pray for Ian every day. I just wanted to say thanks for caring about Livi and her family when you are going through such a hard time yourselves. You are all examples of God's love and it is evident in this blog.

Lisa R

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,
Thank you for sharing this. I often struggle with God's goodness to us and His perfect love toward us. I know that He is worthy of all of my trust in every situation and circumstance of my life, but I still find myself fearing what a day may hold or where my life may change today or tomorrow...I am thankful that the Lord's grace sustains me in this weakness and that His tender mercies are new every morning to help me to grow in this area. Praying for you and your family.
In Christ's love,
Chris Pusateri

Anonymous said...

Perfect love casts out all fear. for many of the scriptures, i am viewing them differently in view of our family's devastation (really no other word suits). Wasn't Christ fearful in Gethsame...or is it semantics? We are going to experience fear in this life...when we are perfected in heaven, then we won't. I know this contradicts verses such as cast all your fears on the Lord, etc. I am not saying that those are not true and reliable... Do I love Christ perfectly? I don't think I love anybody perfectly....I want to....but as in many areas, I am lost without Christ's Spirit. As Martin Luther put it, we are not on our own in this battle, or else our striving would be losing.
I love you all, gigi

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to quote pastors, authors or famous speakers. I quote for you the Word of God for that is the only truth in this world.

Psa 27:1 Jehovah is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? Jehovah is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psa 27:3 Though a host should encamp against me, My heart shall not fear: Though war should rise against me, Even then will I be confident.

Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of Jehovah.

Psa 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, So Jehovah pitieth them that fear him.

Psa 103:17 But the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, And his righteousness unto children's children;

Pro 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell securely, And shall be quiet without fear of evil.

Pro 10:27 The fear of Jehovah prolongeth days; But the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Pro 14:26 In the fear of Jehovah is strong confidence; And his children shall have a place of refuge.

I have been taught recently that if my thinking is not in line with the scriptures then my thinking needs to change. It's as simple as that. The way I can start to change my thinking is by speaking the truth all the time. Be ware of half truths such as: "My situation looks like this." that is a half truth. The whole truth is "my situation looks like this, BUT GOD is for me!"

Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Joh 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done unto you.

Tim said...

Steve - Chopped pizza? Yum! I bet that is something that Ian will remember and will allow him to enjoy the real thing, all the more, when he can have it with you all.

I pray today for Ian's progress and for our Lord to encourage you, Steve, and for all who know, love, and work with Ian. - tim, Wellspring Church, CA

Dena said...

Last night's sermon at church made me think of y'all. It was extremely encouraging in a tough, wonderful way. I thought you might like to listen. Nov. 18th PM

Still watching & praying,


Anonymous said...

My thoughts will be with you all this Thanksgiving. Remember , there is much to be thankful for! We find it hard, sometimes, to see things to be thankful for when we "go through the valleys" - but what I always remember is that HE said we GO THROUGH - not stay.
Believe that this is your valley and you WILL come through. I believe - During my lifetime I have passed THROUGH many valleys, so I try to focus on that.

May God continue to give you the strength to keep on going THROUGH.
Rene from Latrobe

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sandy!
I read the post just like you did, thinking it was a pizza/cheese cake pudding combo! HA! Sounds like the pumpkin pie filling will be a real possibility for Ian on Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Steve, for your post. I've heard it said that "grief" is a "love" term...we don't grieve for acquaintances; we only grieve for someone whom we love...

Thank you, too, for pointing us to Scripture.

Still Praying.

Mary Ann K.