Friday, July 15, 2011

LOVE ALIGNED TO THE WORD

When our love is aligned with God’s Word—when we embrace his love for us and love one another unconditionally—we live without fear. We will be able to live in the here-and-now as Christ lived and stand before him with boldness on the day of judgment.

When all fear is gone, we are in perfect love. Listen to these words sung by David: “Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place” (1 Chronicles 16:27, my italics). The root word for “gladness” in the Old Testament means “jumping for joy” and enjoying the fullness of perfect love.

Right now, the world is drowning in fear. Humankind trembles over global warming, terrorism, nuclear warfare, a shaky economy, AIDS, mass murders, the rise of Islam, political chaos, widespread addiction to drugs, alcohol and porn. I ask you: How can we make any impact for Christ if we are beset with the same spirit of fear the world has? What kind of hope can we offer—indeed, what kind of gospel do we preach—if it doesn’t change us and deliver us from fear?

God brought in the New Covenant to assure his church of his love and full pardon of sin…to bring us into the knowledge of his delight and gladness over us, that we might know his heart of love for us and live all our days without fear. Consider: “The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10). “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?... Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear” (Psalm 27:1, 3).

It is long past time for God’s people to give everything into his hands. I urge you to stop trying to think your way out of trouble. Instead, rest in the power of God’s Word. Let the Lord put gladness in you now, today. Your glad heart will “shock and awe” all those who are fearful around you: "The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand" (Deuteronomy 28:12).