Valentine’s Day comes in February where love is supposedly celebrated. But fear is like a plague that destroys everything it touches—including love. According to God’s Word, fear and love don’t get along too well:
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).
What does it mean to be “made perfect in love”? The love that is referred to as perfect is God’s agape love for you and me. So, here’s my paraphrase of this truth:
The one who fears is not yet fully believing or resting in the perfect love that comes from the God who is Love.
Sadly, many true believers in Jesus Christ are living short of what God intends because they just keep insisting that God’s love is based on their worthiness to be loved by God. As one author puts it, many quietly assume that a God like ours has difficulty drawing near to us—to me and you. “Sure, Jesus comes close to us, we agree—but he holds his nose.”*
When your fear meets God’s love and you even just begin to understand how he loves you, then his perfect love will drive out your fear. He loves for us to draw near to him and bask in the sunshine of his unchanging love—he does not hold his nose!
So, I pray whatever fear you are experiencing will be swallowed up and discarded as your fear meets God’s love.
In His perfect love,
From Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. I find this book so helpful that I’m going to schedule a Zoom book study for those who want to read it with me. That will begin in early February. More to follow!
Here are some testimonies of those who have been “encouraged, equipped and empowered” in their faith journey through our ministry. I am so grateful for your support which allows us to continue.
I found your program shortly after it started on WMBI and it was life-changing. I owe so much of my growth as a Christian in the workplace to your sound teaching and guidance. God bless you and yours in the coming year! ~ Marcia from Illinois
Inspiration and insight for daily living. Mary keeps it real and relatable and both men and women can learn so much. Admitting our faults and shortcomings to God and those who we may have hurt is always life-changing for all. ~ Denise from Virgin Islands
Mary, I love hearing you on Moody radio. You always hit home with something I need to learn or am dealing with. You teach us practical and biblical wisdom. I thank you, Mary, so much for teaching on women’s everyday issues and needs. Thank you so much! ~ Deborah
This study was so good. It was such a blessing. Thank you for having these studies (our new Zoom Tuesday evening studies). I have read your devotions as emails for years. I have been retired for 4 years and I still enjoy them. I have really enjoyed your studies on Facebook. You are such a blessing for women.
~ Anna from Tennessee.
I love this study. I have loved all of your studies. Particularly I am enjoying What the Well-Dressed Christian Wears, it’s a great personal study and small group study. ~ Sandra from Texas
I just listened to your class now and loved all your insights. I was reminded of Exodus 14:14: You have only to stay still and I will fight for you. One of my favorite verses. ~ Jeannette
Mary, thank you for what you write. Wisdom. Fresh. Truth. I appreciate your heart for women. ~ Dea from Indiana