Friday, March 18, 2005

The Flow of Bold, Perfected Love

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 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 4:17-19)
What is the love of God all about in our lives? That we may have boldness in the day of judgment. Boldness is outspokenness, assurance, confidence. As we stand before God, both now and forever, we can have boldness and confidence.

“Because as He is, so are we in this world.” Jesus has boldness before the Father because He is in a perfect love relationship with the Father. This relationship never had need to be perfected, as does our relationship with God, but has always abided in perfection.

In verse 12, John revealed that the love of God has now been perfected in us, if we love one another. Therefore, just as Jesus walked the earth in the perfect love of the Father, so now do we. It is not about what we have done or deserve, it is about His love. There is a tremendous freedom in that, and an empowerment to show forth the love of God in mighty ways, just as the Lord Jesus did.

Just as that perfect love relationship continues between the Father and the Son, so does it continue for us on this planet. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray for the kingdom of God to keep coming forth and the will of God to keep being done on earth as it is in heaven. Now we see that this is actually the flow of God’s love perfected in us. It is the bringing together of heaven and earth, “because as He is, so are we in this world.”

“There is no fear in love.” Fear is the opposite of boldness. There is no confidence or assurance in fear. There is only torment. Fear does not bring torment — fear is torment, and that does not come from God.

If you have fear in your life, it is a sign that you are not yet letting the love of God have its way fully in your life. But you do not have to subject yourself to fear. You can, instead, resist it by bringing it before God, who is love. In the presence of perfect love, fear withers and dies and is no more. Perfect love renders its judgment on fear — and casts it out!

“We love Him because He first loved us.” Here is the perfection of love — He first loved us, and now we love Him. The circle is complete. To love Him includes loving all those whom He loves. There is no torment in that, no fear of judgment, only bold confidence before God. As He is in heaven, so are we on the earth.

If there is any fear, we just need more revelation of God’s love. So ask the Father to reveal it to you. Embrace His love, and meditate upon it. Let it flow into you. Be very intentional about it: “Father, I receive all the love You have for me. I yield myself to the work of Your love in my life. I let go of fear and lay hold of the boldness which comes through Your love.” Be very intentional, also, about letting God’s perfect love flow through you to others by your words and deeds.