October 12, 2020
1 John 4:18-21
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us.  Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
New International Version (NIV)
                 You are not afraid to love, are you?  A friend who confessed to me his fear to me.  What is there to fear?  C. S. Lewis explained that when we risk loving another person we are setting ourselves up for the possibility of unspeakable joy but also for the potential of pain.  What if the objects of our love do not love us in return?  We can also lose those we love to broken relationships or to death as Lewis lost his wife Joy.  Love is risky business, come to think of it. 

                God shows the way.  When he created human beings with free will, he left open the possibility that we might reject his love.  Still, God fearlessly created humans knowing that his love could overcome all of our fears.  God first loved us, we love him and then we love each other.  Love is contagious.  It also reveals the truth about our relationship with God.  The proof of our love for God is our love for others.  If we hate others, we prove that we have not fully experienced God’s love. 

                Again in his book Four Loves, C. S. Lewis wrote:  “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

                Remember the vulnerable love of the Father sending his Son into the world and allowing him to be crucified.  This is the love that saves us.  This is the love that enables us to love even those who thought they were our enemies.  Love wins and ultimately casts out all fear.  God loves us perfectly.  No need to fear.  Be not afraid.

Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for the risk you took in sending your Son to show us your love for us.  Let this perfect love cast out all of our fears today.  Empower us by your love to love even those who are difficult for us to love.  Thank you for demonstrating your love for us even when we were still sinners through Jesus’ death for us.  Help us to love each other sacrificially, we pray.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:7-8
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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