March 13, 2017 by maryruwe
Let’s talk about love; more specifically, about God’s love in us. We know that God’s love toward us and for us is evident in His giving us Jesus Christ as our Savior (Psalm 107:20, John 3:16-17, Romans 5:8, to mention a few Scriptures). So let’s look at what His love does in us. When I began to know God’s love for me there began changes in me. We will just start with a couple of areas of change in my heart; freedom from fear and anger.
Let’s look first at fear. Fear is a big issue in today’s world. There is fear everywhere we turn. Fear of death, fear of war, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what the health report might say; and the list continues too numerous to mention all of them. The point I’m making is that everyone deals with fear in some way at some time. It doesn’t take a genius to see and understand that fear carries torment. So let’s look at some Scriptures because it is only in the Love and Power of God that we can be set free from torment of fear.
The Scripture references I’m sharing first are from three different Bible translations. I want you to notice the variations in some of the wording.
New Kings James, First John 4:18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Common English Bible, First John 4:18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.
English Standard Version, First John 4:18: 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.
Just from these three Scriptural references we see that fear torments and fear has to do with punishment, and is not based in love. The reason fear has to do with punishment is because fear entered the world because of disobedience. Disobedience is described as sin in the Bible and according to Romans 6:23, the wages (or result) of sin is death. However we see according to John 3:16-18 God’s love does not torment nor does it have to do with punishment; it has to do with loving us. God’s kind of love has to do with forgiveness and reconciling us back to Him; for God is love (1 John 4:8). When we allow God’s love to rule in our heart/spirit then we are able to walk in the truths of His Word. The more we allow God to transform us by renewing our mind to His Word (Romans 12:2) and by obeying His Word, the more perfected His love is in us. The word perfect is described in the dictionary as: the highest degree of excellence, the act or process of perfecting. That’s what the love of God does in us – it’s a process of changing us from glory to glory into His Image. We also learn from Ephesians 1:6 that “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved”. Jesus is God’s beloved and it is through Jesus’ shed Blood that we are made righteous before God and thereby accepted by God (Matthew 3:17, and 17:5, Mark 9:7, 2 Peter 1:17).
In these next Scriptures we see that God’s love in us enables us to love others, to live for Him, and the result is that the world will see Him in us.
First John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
First John 4:9 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
John 13:15 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
God’s love in us helps us to walk according to First Corinthians 13:4-6: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. We need to monitor our attitudes and thoughts because our words and actions are a direct result of them.
Now let’s address the issue of anger. Anger in and of itself is not a sin. Yes you heard that right. It has to do with how we handle the anger. There are many, many Bible Scriptures that gives reference to where the Lord’s anger was kindled against the Israel and even the fierceness of God’s anger. However since we also know that God is a just God and does not sin, that means anger itself is not a sin. Anger is an emotion and we are to be in control of our emotions; our emotions are not to control us.
King James Version: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
The Good News Translation: If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.
The Amplified Bible – Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down.
We are not to hold onto anger and we are not to allow the emotion of anger to cause us to sin. That would include our words and actions, and even our thoughts. We need to realize when anger is out of control it gives a place for the devil to enter into the situation (Ephesians 4:27). We can be angry at the sin committed and at the same time control our anger. Proverbs 16:32 tells us that a person who is slow to anger rules his spirit. It is a decision we make to control our emotions, our words and our behavior. It is the love of God IN us that gives us the power to change from the old habits of sin to the new habits of holiness. We are to put off that old sin nature, and put on the nature God created in us – righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24). We put on this nature of God with our obedience to His Word.
This is by no means an exhaustive study in these two areas of fear and anger but I do pray that this message will intrigue you to do some study on your own. I pray that you will be brave and courageous and submit to His desire to change you into His Image. God does not force change in us, we must submit to Him. We submit to Him by obeying His Word. Philippians 1:6 assures us that He who has begun a good work in you (us) will (continue to) perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (the time of His return). We do not need to fear any change God wants to make in us; for He only has good things for us (Jeremiah 29:11).