Larie's Blog

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Perfect Love

"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." 1 John 4:18
This verse appeared in my mind this week as I was floating around in the ICU, and I thought "Wow! NO FEAR. I would like that. What would that even feel like? So much of my existence is mingled with fear. And Perfect love? What is that? How DOES perfect love cast out fear? How can I be made perfect in love? I want that. "
So I went verse hunting and pondering and praying. As I peruse I John 4:7-18 I am reminded of the aposlte obsessed with love for his master, and of Jesus' own musings of abiding in John 14. These verses seem similar and really bring out the concept of abiding/dwelling in Him. In 1 John 4 I see that the love of God is manifested that we might live THROUGH Him (4:9) and that if we love one another God DWELLS in us and his love is perfected in us (4:12), the Spirit is evidence of His DWELLING in us (4:13), and that if He DWELLS in us we will confess Him (4:15). God IS love; he who DWELLS in love, DWELLS in God and God in him (4:16).
All this discussion about dwelling is tied together by by verse 4:17: In this (refers back to verse 16--God dwelling in us and us in Him) is love made that we can have boldness in the day of judgment because we are one and the same (God in me and me in God).
So fear, then, comes from not dwelling in God, and love is made perfect in us and fear dissolved by dwelling in God who IS love. Or you could say that fear cannot exist in the presence of perfect love, and if I dwell in perfect love there will be no room for fear.
I want a life without fear, a life of only faith and dwelling in Jesus, of perfect love. Don't you?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Second Peter: The Evidence

The book of Second Peter seems to be largely written as a reminder of the need for and way of spiritual growth. Peter is reminding them of this especially as he is made aware of his approaching death and finds it very important that we always have a reminder of this. He is writing to those who already have "like precious faith," so that they do not become lax in the work of faith. He sees this glorious provision through the promises and knowledge of God whereby we may actually partake of the divine nature and thereby assure our salvation. It is not the works that earn our salvation, but the attainment of the divine nature that Jesus gives us through the knowledge of Him and through partaking of the promises. As evidence that all this can be ours he notes that this character growth process is not a fable and backs it by noting that they (the apostles) were eyewitnesses of Jesus power, they heard the voice on the mountain, and also refers to the sure prophetic word. These all confirm the verity of the process of growth into the divine nature and our ultimate salvation. And while contextually he does not exactly say this, we in turn become evidence that the plan works, evidence of God's amazing power and majesty. Don't you want to be part of the evidence?