Up with love, down with fear by PASTOR JON HUIZENGA River Rock Church “Up with love, down with fear” sounds like something my brother might have chanted in bellbottoms and sandals. I myself am not quite old enough to be a ’60s flower child. However, I’m still groovy with that phrase. In fact, I dig it. It is in the Bible. (OK, enough with the ’60s speak). Here is how God says it in the Bible: “There is no fear in love. But, perfect love drives out fear…” (I John 4:18). The love the Bible is talking about is the love that originates from God and is demonstrated when God sent his Son for you. He sent his Son, Jesus, to clear away your sin and the damage it causes to your relationship with God and others. If God loves you that much, you can trust that his love surrounds you completely. His love surrounds your good and bad, your past and future. And, it can drive out fear. I just spent a few days with my aging mom. She is beginning to have some memory issues and that scares her. She is intelligent, sensitive and wise, and she likes being so. She likes to call you by name and to remember your story. So, if she could choose how to age, she’d choose anything but an iffy memory. Please, not that! That’s a good test case. How does God’s love drive out that fear? Finally, it must be a trust thing. If God is crazy in love with her, she can trust that her future will be in his loving hands, even if it involves choices she would not make herself. If she is secure in God’s love, that security has potential to drive fear out. As trust goes up, fear comes down. I am not implying that I have that kind of trust. I would prefer that my superior strength could drive out fear. But my mom and I are trying. We are learning to trust his love. It is a love that surprisingly successfully drives out fear. Want some of that love? If I can help you search for or find it, I’d be happy to. E-mail me at email@example.com or call […]
by PASTOR MATT PUETT Faith Bible Church The Bible clearly teaches that the world hated Jesus without a reason (John 15:25). We are further taught that if the world hated Jesus then it will hate His followers (John 15:19-20). A natural response to this hate from the world is to hate back, to stand up for our rights, and to make everyone realize that we deserve to be treated better. While I want to act this way, the Bible teaches me something quite different. Luke 6 teaches the Christian how to respond to the world. Verse 27 tells the Christian, “Love your enemies.” How am I supposed to do this? Do I just have to say “I love you”? The answers come in the verses that follow. When someone hates you, you are to do good things for her. If someone curses you (wishes bad things to happen), you are to bless him (wish good things to happen). If someone uses you for their own personal gain, you are to pray for that person. Most Christians either don’t know these verses are here, or they simply choose to ignore them. The next verses (29-31) teach us to love even if someone is humiliating us or stealing the clothes off our backs. We are to be willing to lend everything we have, even if we know we will never get it back, and to treat others as we would want them to treat us. Am I really supposed to do these things? Yes, this is a command. Why would I want to do these things? Verse 35 says, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” You do these things because you will receive eternal rewards.