“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 KJV).
“Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another—this is the best gift that our heavenly Father can bestow. This love is not an impulse, but a divine principle, a permanent power. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. Only in the heart where Jesus reigns is it found. ‘We love Him, because He first loved us.’ In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around. AA 551.2
“John strove to lead the believers to understand the exalted privileges that would come to them through the exercise of the spirit of love. This redeeming power, filling the heart, would control every other motive and raise its possessors above the corrupting influences of the world. And as this love was allowed full sway and became the motive power in the life, their trust and confidence in God and His dealing with them would be complete. They could then come to Him in full confidence of faith, knowing that they would receive from Him everything needful for their present and eternal good. ‘Herein is our love made perfect,’ he wrote, ‘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 casteth out fear.’ ‘And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, … we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.’” AA 551.3
Dear Heavenly Father, Your love is amazing. Simply thanking You doesn’t seem to be adequate to express what I am feeling right now. I have so far to go to be like You. Please grant me this same love for You and for others, according to Your perfect will. I grant You permission to completely change my self-deceptive and fearful heart that I may be recreated—truly born again—into Your image every day. Bless me to always do those things that please You and to honor You in the way that You deserve. Consecrate me now, Father, to fully submit to the Holy Spirit, to love what You love, to hate the sin You hate, that through me others may be drawn to You for an eternity, and that I will fearlessly, but lovingly, stand for Truth. In the precious and powerful name of Jesus, I pray and thank You. Amen.
NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor my Heavenly Father but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.