Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18

The world sees Christ in many forms – a Good moral teacher, a Good man whose life was cut short terribly, a Saint, a Messenger from God, a Prophet and so on. But the Truth is that Christ is the Son of God who came down to earth, lived and died for us. That’s how we all believed and were saved by His Grace through faith. But after knowing Him as our Lord and Saviour, as time goes on, how do we perceive Christ on a day-to-day basis: (a) A taskmaster with a cane who punishes us whenever we do wrong? (b) Or a person who threatens us with terror and forces us to worship Him? (c) Or the Gracious One who daily forbears us; overlooks our shortcomings and clothes us with His robe of Righteousness? Some years back, I was very intrigued by the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14 – 30). I asked within myself a lot of questions why God would not accept the 3rd servant. To begin with, this parable is not about unbelievers but about the believers who are serving the Master. If you see in the parable of the talents, the servant with one talent who buried it in the ground had a very different perspective of his Master. He said – ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ (Matthew 25:24-25). But, is our God really a hard man, a person who reaps where He did not sow? This servant’s opinions had its origins in that he first was afraid of his master and stemmed these false opinions of Him from his fear. Are we also fearing God because of our false notions, then that could lead us into having wrong opinions about God and we may start to doubt His character, His word and His promises. “Perfect Love casts out fear.” says the Bible in 1 John 4:18. Well there isn’t a perfect Love other than which came down from above. So we need to be grounded in that perfect Love for us, which fans out all fears. They say the statement ‘Do not be afraid’ comes 365 times in the Bible, and that’s like God wants to remind us with one for each day throughout the year. The more interesting truth is that God honours our opinions about Him. The Master in that parable replies to the servant saying ‘You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed.’ (Matthew 25:26). The Master seems to accept his preconceptions about Him and questions him back with it, behaving exactly the way the servant conceived about Him. Over and over in the Gospel of John, we see that John himself claims to be ‘One whom Jesus loved the most’. Is that really true? What is so good in John than anybody else that he claims such a thing? Nothing!! Also only John himself claims that he is so; we don’t see the other 3 Gospels addressing John as the one whom Jesus loved the most. John simply accepts Christ’s Love and experiences himself as the most loved and the interesting thing is God honours that. We even see John leaning on the bosom of Christ (Refer John 13:23). If any other disciple wanted to lie on His bosom, do we think Jesus would not allow that? No way, but John had no reservations and fully accepted Christ’s love and so Christ didn’t stop him either. Even Jesus asked His disciples once, “But who do you say that I am?” (Refer Matthew 16:15) He didn’t ask this question to the unbelievers but to His disciples. Let us all completely bask in the perfect Love of our God in Christ Jesus and accept His unconditional Love unconditionally, leave no room for fear, and begin to see that – ‘He is the Lover of our Soul and We are Christ’s most Loved!’

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