By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:17-21
The more I let God’s love fills my heart and permeate my life, the less I fear the day of judgment when I will settle accounts for the deeds done in this life. I think most people have a deep down dread when they think about standing before God. Rightly, we all recognize that He is holy and righteous and in a profound was ‘a consuming fire’. But, something is happening in me. The perfect love of God is manifested in His Son, who came and died for me (as a propitiation). Which means, He paid the penalty for my sin. He stood in my place and took the judgment for my deeds. The fancy term for that is ‘vicarious atonement’. As I respond to that great truth and God’s grace (undeserved favor), I find myself loving Him and other people. This builds my confidence for the eventual day when Satan will accuse me, but God’s Son Jesus will exonerate me by saying “Father, Doug belongs to Me”, his debt is paid in full. If that’s not a reason to love my brother, I don’t know what is!
How am I living with the constant and growing recognition that God loves me? Am I letting Him love me? And letting Him love others through me?
God, as this day begins- I am reminded again how You revealed Yourself to me through the gospel message. I am grateful that day by day I am being transformed into the kingdom of the Son, You love. And Your love is being perfected in me. Have Your way in me, Lord. Now, as I recognize the 33rd anniversary of being married to my lovely wife Maureen, I am grateful beyond words. What a gift!!! Help me cherish her always and daily.