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July 5, 2013

Text: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment,  and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”. I John 4:18

A few years ago cars would pass me on the street sporting garish artwork and the words “No fear”. I could never decide what that meant. What was it that they were fearless of? Was the message supposed to be religious, cultural, or rebellious? As it turned out, there was a song by that name, a NASCAR racing team (now defunct) , and a line of clothing with that logo.  Nevertheless, I am still wondering about what it was they were not to be fearing.

Fear can cause a person to be anxious, not to participate in some activity, even not to interact with daily society about them. Some people like to play on the fears of others. Many items on the market have as their goal to frighten people into buying a product  supposedly to keep them safe. There are many who go to the movies to see a horror flick and then can’t sleep at night. And there are many legitimate things to frighten and cause consternation.

Fear can disrupt your life. It can stress you out, give you anxiety attacks, weaken your heart. It can lead to depression and other serious mental problems.  You might get an ulcer.  The actual problems of life will perturb everyone, even Christians. Only Christians have an alternative to fear.

Notice the second part of our text: “For fear has to do with punishment.”  If ever there were a valid fear, it would be the fear of being sentenced to Hell, the ultimate punishment. Satan is certainly one to be feared. His functions are to deceive, lie to man, and tempt him. Then, he is the Accuser, sort of a prosecuting attorney against sinners. Of course, he is the master of Hell, man’s tormentor. Jesus is life itself and gives life to those who obey him.   “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)   That is why the Christian can say, “No Fear.”

Do you know the antidote for fear? Simple! Love of God!  A lawyer came to Jesus and queried, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus is correct in  his answer. “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 22:30-47 (ESV)

Remember what Jesus said in our text: ,”…perfect love casts out fear.”  Inevitably it will be asked: The Bible says we are to fear God. What does that mean? Let the Bible answer.

“Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and  to keep all my commandments… ” Deuteronomy 5:29a Jesus:

“If  you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10

“The end of the matter: all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

Got it?  To fear God is to love him and obey him! Do that and fear will not disturb you.

Oh, Lord, teach us to love you perfectly. In Jesus’ name, Amen

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    I think this is an excellent comparison/contrast of the world’s idea of No Fear and the real No Fear that Jesus offers. Would that more would listen to Him.

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