Our love must drive out fear of our judgment of people around us

The Most Excellent Way
Drives out Fear – Part 2

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:13-21

Key Verse: 1 John 4:18

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.

Yesterday’s devotional was about the good news that love drives the fear of judgment out of our lives.  Today we must face the challenge that the Bible gives us: Our love must drive out fear of our judgment of people around us.  God understands how easy it is for us to receive His great love but never pass it on to others.  Jesus addressed this issue in His model prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  After Jesus gave His disciples this model prayer, He immediately commented on one aspect of the prayer and it’s this “passing it on” concept.  Jesus said, “but if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15).  In the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus hits this issue again: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2).

As you can see, God takes seriously this “pass it on” concept.  Since God’s love drives out fear from your life concerning His judgment, do you drive out fear of judgment in others around you?  Do you love in such a way that people around you never fear being harshly judged by you?  Or, if you are honest, are you in the habit of judging others with harsh opinions and attitudes?

Father, I want to love as you have loved me.  Please remind me today not to make others around me have any fear of my negative judgments.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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