“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
The Bible, especially in 1 John, talks about perfect love. If you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then there is no room for anything that is contrary to love. Such love, John says, casts out fear. Perfect love is possible in this life when the Spirit has filled us and our heart has been purified by faith.
Some think loving like this is possible only after we get to heaven. But John says this love is perfected in us and gives us boldness in the day of judgment: “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus” (1 John 4:17).
Evelyn Christensen passed away in 2011 at the age of eighty-nine. Her life exemplified the greatest commands of Jesus, for she loved Him deeply and completely. Evelyn was best known for writing books such as What Happens When Women Pray?, Lord Change Me, and Praying God’s Way. Yet she was perhaps most excited about her Study Guide for Evangelism Praying, because Evelyn had a passion and a deep sense of urgency for all people to know Christ and to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the eternal kingdom of her beloved King Jesus. She could barely speak a sentence without the name of Jesus in it. Her last words were “It’s beautiful! It’s beautiful! It’s beautiful! Jesus is holding my hand.” Evelyn loved Jesus with all of her heart, soul, and mind. And she loved others so intensely that she couldn’t bear the thought of anyone dying without His love embedded in their hearts.
Here is a powerful thought: If everyone loved and obeyed the two greatest commandments as Evelyn did, there would be no need for the law. How would you like to live in a world like that? I think we will in our next life when Jesus is ruler over all.
–Adapted from Encountering Jesus (Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life) by Norval Hadley.
Jesus, Your inheritance is the ends of the earth! Help me to long for people to become part of Your kingdom as I honor You with my life day by day. Make me more aware of Your life in me – full and rich and powerful. I want to finish well, and deepening my love for You, my King and Savior, is the only truth-filled way to walk with integrity through the rest of my days, teaching me to love others more fully – as You love them. I love You Lord Jesus – reign in me!
Praise God as the source of all that you need, in both the spiritual and material realms. Thank God for giving you the ability to produce wealth and to meet basic physical needs. Confess those times when you have thought, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me” (Deut. 8:17-18). Commit yourself to envisioning each day the strength and power of God carrying you along in your work. Ask God to open your eyes to your utter dependence on him.
Pray for those who are materially wealthy in your congregation, that they may be moved “to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” Thank God for his promise that this leads to a more sure treasure than material wealth (1 Tim. 6:17-19).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
Encountering Jesus (Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life) by Norval Hadley is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
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