Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0190
THE LOVE THAT CONQUERS FEAR
Christianity was birthed out of love ~ God’s love for us was (and is) so strong that He sent Jesus Christ His Son to be sacrificed on the cruel cross of Calvary to break the power of sin and separation that was between us and God. God’s love is very different to our natural human love. His love is very giving and forgiving, and does not hold things against us. This love of God is so important to be operating in the lives of Christians, because without it, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2-3 ; read whole chapter as it gives us the true definition of God’s love): “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up (“arrogant”); does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. The meaning of“Love” (“agape”) is “love that is self-denial and compassionately devoted to its object. Love in its fullest conceivable form”.
Sadly, today we see so many Christians who are filled with fear. For the Christian, fear is the absence of love, because the Bible teaches us that “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 ). When there is fear in our lives that fear is actually our master. It dictates to us what we can and cannot do. It makes us its servant and we are beholden to it. Most disobedience to God would be because of fear: fear of what people might think or say; fear of getting it wrong; fear of failure; fear of leaders, and many more reasons. That is not God’s will or purpose for the born again, Holy Spirit-filled Christian. We need to face our fears and let the love of Jesus within us conquer them! To get the true benefits of Christianity Jesus Christ has to be Lord of our lives. He is greater than all our fears and we need to learn to trust Him fully.
My testimony is that I had been a Holy Spirit-filled Christian for 16 years and was pastoring a church, when one day the Lord spoke very clearly to me and said these words: “I am going to teach you how to love people.” I re-acted in a negative way and told God that I did love people. His response was to show me the faces of 5-6 Christians that I did not like (people who criticized me), and following those faces came the words: “How can a man love God who he has not seen if he does not love his brother whom he has seen!” He then followed that up with these words: “You can measure your love for God. I want you to know that your love for Me is only as great as your love for these the least of My brethren”. I was shocked. Over the previous 16 years I had spent hours and hours seeking God, praying, reading the Bible and being faithful at church attendance. Yet at the end of that God said my love for Him was only as great as those 5-6 faces He showed me. I was reduced to nothing! I did not know how I could learn to love people more. God said He would teach me how to love people. I did not know how that could happen. But I was soon to find out. Very soon total strangers would turn up at my church office and ask to speak with me. They would pour out to me all kinds of sins (some of which I did not realize was possible for human beings to commit). I was ignorant of who these people were until the head of the police department turned up to speak with me. He said: “We think you ought to know that the police have had a 24-hour watch on your church building for the past three months because all the most-wanted criminals in this region are turning up at your church door!” I had no idea those people were criminals. As a result of those people confessing to me all kinds of sins and crimes, I got to learn something of the happenings in the underworld. I then received a telephone call from the underworld bosses telling me to “keep my nose out of their business, or else I would be killed.” When I cried out to Jesus as to what I should do, His reply was: “Son, I am teaching you how to love people.” So I kept counselling these people coming to me. Because I did not stop, the next thing I was informed that there were three death contracts put out on my life and I would be killed. That went on for five years! I share this with you because during that time, when naturally I should have been filled with fear, I was fearless and the love of God made me desire to want to see them set free. The power of God was evident in protecting us and keeping us alive during that time (the enemy has no strategy for love). Because we did not fear them, we were able to live a relatively normal life and continue my pastoring responsibilities. At the end of five years the underworld confessed that Jesus Christ had to be stronger than Satan because everything they had done to kill me had failed ~ and they had never failed before. Even one of the “hit-men” (a professional paid killer) came and got saved!
I believe that God allowed me to go through that experience to demonstrate to me the power of God’s love in conquering fear. It is hard to fully explain what it was like to be fearless during those times. The joy of fearlessness was such that there were times when I hoped I would be killed as I was so ready to go to be with Jesus! Hallelujah! Our telephone rang throughout the night; I was followed to the church office. But God was demonstrating to us the truth and power of His love over fear.
Christian, we cannot afford to let fear rule in our life!
We need to face our fears and deal with them by sincerely asking the Lord to teach us how to love people.
Loving people more is the key to a life of fearlessness.
Please take time to study the Scriptures on God’s love, as it is so important that we know and experience it if we want to be true conquerors today.
Love is not a theory. Love is God alive in our hearts enabling us to rise up above every fear that would try and keep us down and stop us from living in the freedom that Christ ~ through His love for us ~ came to set us free.
There is no freedom in fear!
It is time to experience fully the promises of God to us when we truly love one another. Then we are fulfilling the purposes of God in and through our lives.
Love is the only true motivation for serving God!
God bless you. In His Love ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord God, I come to You today in the Name of Your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and I ask You to teach me how to love people more. I want to know the experience of living a life without any fear. Let your love teach me to be a greater lover of people so that I may glorify your Name and Word through experiencing what you teach us. Forgive me for my unbelief in not believing these truths more than I have. Fill me afresh with Your Mighty Holy Spirit so I can build myself up more and more and so believe everything you have accomplished for me through Your death, burial and resurrection. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your great love for me. I love You and long to walk more closely with You from this day forwards. Thank You for helping me to love people more. In Jesus’ Name I pray these things, Amen.”