“There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.”
When I woke, or more accurately woke for the second time this morning, there was a very clear image of a person, a leader, whose name is known across the Charismatic World, before my eyes. What I saw indicated that they were sturuggling with something you would never expect a Christian leader to struggle with, namely fully living in the experience of this truth: “There is therfore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
I was distressed by the imagery by which this inner struggle was made known to me by the Spirit of God. I will not share all of it, but simply one detail: the fear on the face of this well known leader. Instantly I was reminded of the words quoted above from 1st. John 4 verse 18. I have often felt the full meaning of these words is missed because the context is sometimes forgotten and the verse is taken, wrongly, as a stand alone verse. The context gives this as the meaning: it is our job as the fellowship of believers to perfect one another in the love of God. As part of the body of Christ we are to assure one another by the way we love one another that there is no divine punishment awaiting us when our sins are under the blood of Christ. We are indeed forgiven. Our sins have been removed from us as far as the East is from the West. If a believer is walking in fear of punishment therefore, it means that somehow the fellowship around them is not demonstrating with sufficient strength the saving love of God.
It may surprise you if God were to show you who needs to know that assurance through you this day. The first time I woke up this morning, I read the story in Luke Chapter 7 (verses 36 – 52) of Jesus in Simon the Phraisee’s home. Simon is thinking in his heart that Jesus allowing himself to approached, touched and wetted by the tears of a woman known to be “a sinner” cannot after all be a Prophet, never mind The Porphet for whom all of Israel had been waiting. Have you ever felt what it must have been like for that poor woman to find herself in a tangible atmosphere of disapproving male glances? Had she been wrong to believe she could be forgiven? Had she been wrong to hope that there was indeed a love that could see all and yet not withdraw? No, she had not been wrong, but Jesus knew she needed to be sure. He gives her that assurance twice over: “Your sins are forgiven you….Go in peace.” The unwritten hope is that she left more conscious of the love in Jesus eyes than the judgement in Simon’s eyes.
Jesus was indeed a prophet. He spoke to Simon about what He saw in his heart. He spoke into the woman’s heart too. You maybe think that simply speaking assurance of God’s love into a trembling heart is hardly being very prophetic. It is not very specific: no names, places timings revealed as when, for example, Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in John Chapter 4. He told her she had been married five times and was at that present moment living with someone to whom she was not married as if she was. However, Luke 7 shows us a Jesus who is spot on in Prophecy as much as the Jesus of John 4. Truth that reveals and startles the heart is the “Wow” factor in Prophecy. That revelation of truth does not always require the revelation of names, dates etc. to convince a person God is speaking to them.
Perhaps this day God will nudge you to tell someone something that seems so obvious to you that you will be almost embarrassed to say it and will struggle to do so, especially if they are a leader among God’s people. This day you may have to fight feelings of being foolish, simplistic, because you sense God is asking you to say , “God loves you. He wants you to know you are forigven and to set your heart at peace.” “But surely they know that?” What if they need to see it in the eyes, hear it in the tone of voice that they have longed to see and hear in a fellow believer in the fellowship of the body of Christ, but never have? You could even find yourself being a prophesying to a prophet today, leading a leader into the truth of God. Don’t hold back if God calls you to do just that…though remember to do so in love and humility, giving honour where honour is due.
God bless… and God bless others through you this day. May you help someone to be perfected in the love of God.
My beloved Mum had Alzheimer’s disease for the last eight years of her life and spent the last four of those years in a care home. A couple of months before she died, the Lord told me to go and tell her that He Loved her.
By this time she wasn’t really able to take in much, if any information, but I went and did what the Lord said.
I wish you could have seen her face !!
The look of a surprised yet delighted wee girl as she said, ‘does He’?
and I said yes He does !!
May the Lord Bless those who don’t know He Loves them !!!!
And Bless you too Kenny !!!!
If we get past needing to hear we are loved and accepted, especially by God, we are probably not facing the poverty of our own human spirit.
A man in the church of which I was a member several years ago began one Sunday to share how much God loves us. We could share what was on our heart, so he was not leading or preaching.
There was a collective sense of quiet listening and absorbing. Then he stopped.
I had a sense of disappointment, flowing balm stopped too soon!
It was the same for many.
None of us is beyond needing reassurance from each other, and acceptance.
Peace like a dove…
Dear Rev.Kenny and Morag
I hope everyone who reads this edition of your Blog will bring this Leader to the Lord in prayer and ask for their protection and guidance and deliverance in their turmoil. Galatians 6:2 calls for Christians to ‘bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ'(to love one another as He loves us).
Your Posts are a great encouragement and so are the Comments of others who read and respond to them. Thank you Rev.Kenny.God bless you and Morag.
Thank you for your these words, even though I am rather late in commenting!
It seems that I continually say to God “I know that you love me Lord, that you sent your son to die for me so that my SIN would be washed away by the blood Jesus shed on the the Cross”, (especially when I am going through a difficult time) , but, can you please continue to remind me of that reality in your many varied ways.
Blessings to all,
Notice the mistakes in the post where some words like “your” and “these” are both used when only one or the other was necessary! Also duplicate “the” following on from that!
Ha ha! George, I make loads of mistakes in just about every blog…don’t worry. it is perfetly obvious what you are meaning. Your comments are always worthwhile. Correct form in every way is simply a bonus, not the essential thing. That’s the way I see it anyway, as my blogs demonstrate!