TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Scripture: 1 John 4:17
1 John 4:16b states, “God is love” and verse 17 follows it with, “Love has been tel-i-o-tai/perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” What does boldness in judgment have to do with maturity in love? How does being perfected in love release boldness in the day of judgment? The love of God is multi-dimensional. Certain layers release amazing boldness. The revelation of love was released in boldness in the early apostles, as witnessed by Peter, Paul and John. Peter demonstrated God’s judicial, protective love for the Body of Christ in the termination of Ananias and Sapphira. Only when we recognize this can we understand verse 17. This verse makes sense only in the context of multiple layers of God’s love, where the Lamb slain becomes the Lion who slays! When we transition to walk with the Lion who slays, we will have confidence and boldness. We can prepare to demonstrate the love of God just as the early church did. We can become proficient in not only explaining love, but dispensing it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything less strips us of the arsenal required to fight the spiritual battles we face every day. Sometimes confrontation is required to let people know there is potential affliction and termination in their future if they continue to challenge the Living God through blatant evil. The early church had this boldness. The boldness that verse 17 promises is not evident in today’s church. It is not there for one reason – we do not have a church perfected in love. We have a church trained and taught to “turn-the-other-cheek” and forbear sin, even when the will of God is to halt evil. In the last fifty years, by misapplying love, we have taught the church to effectively enable evil. Until this ceases we do not have a chance of being perfected in love. God’s love arrests evil. God’s love judges evil. God’s love destroys evil-doers. Isn’t it time we made a decision to grow into the fullness of God’s love? We need to ask the Spirit of Truth Himself to imprint His definition of love in our hearts.