THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – 1 John 4:16-19): 16 ….God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
THOUGHTS: If we are faced with a court case, we will no doubt live in fear of the outcome, especially on the day that the Judge concludes the case and issues the sentence. If we are summoned to the boss’s office at work, our natural tendency is to well up in fear, as our first reaction is to question in our minds if we have done anything wrong. In our daily walk here on earth, whether we know Jesus personally or not, we live in hopes that our lives would not be in vain, but instead, a blessing to someone else. For those who have invited Jesus into their heart, we live each day praying that we would please God in the way that we live, in total harmony with Him, and in total obedience to all that He has commanded in His Word. John summarizes this for us in these verses today, by saying that we must live in love, for as we do, we will live in the image of God, who loved us sacrificially and unconditionally, in spite of who we were in character and entrenched in sin. When we make it our mission to live like Jesus taught us, our love becomes more perfect (more like the love expressed by Jesus, and expected by Him of us). And when this occurs, we live with a clear conscience and without fear of the Day of Judgment when we stand before Jesus. You see, ‘Judgment’ can result in one of two types of emotion for us: Gladness/happiness/joy as we are declared ‘not guilty of the crime, or sin; or sadness/disappointment/rejection/fear as we are found guilty of the crime, or sinful and without a Savior. So friends, we do have a choice – do nothing about your eternal salvation and be found guilty of sin – without a Savior – with the advanced knowledge that our sentence is eternity in Hell with Satan; OR we can say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, live in obedience to His Word, expressing love to all those we come into contact with and representing the King of all kings in everything we do and say – with a known sentence of eternity in Heaven with Jesus where we will worship and adore Him and His Father (God) forever and forever, amen!! The choice seems obvious to me, but my sole reason in sharing these devotionals each day is in hopes that Jesus will touch the heart of my readers so that you also might come to know Him intimately/personally and therefore live the rest of your life in Hope! In a state of constant celebration and in joyous anticipation of our Judgment Day when we stand for the King. Make it right friend, and make it today, while you are still able to.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your Word is very powerful! As You have touched my heart today and spoken to me through Your written Word, please also impact the lives of those that will be led to this devotional that I have shared under Your direction. May Your children be Your children – a splitting image of You in every way – especially in our love for others. However, there will be some who will read this who may be trying to live life on their own and love others as just the right humanly thing to do. Please tender their hearts today oh Lord and help them to see You – the originator of perfect love. May they realize that they too can become Your child if they choose to surrender themselves wholeheartedly to You. May this be the day of great decisions oh Lord, and may all glory be offered up to You for the great work that You will accomplish, because of Your Word being shared. I ask all this in perfect faith and in the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!