Practice Makes Perfect
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. ~1 John 4:18
Growing up as a kid, I had an aunt who always encouraged me to do my best at everything. Her favorite saying to me was, “Practice makes perfect.” The more you do a certain task, the better, more confident, and more competent you become at it. Two emotional extremes are referred to in our devotion this morning. One is the extreme of fear, which can be very paralyzing. In fact, we are told that "fear hath torment." The other extreme is perfect love. Perfect love is the goal in Christian maturity. The attaining of perfect love is the highest peak of the Christian experience. Do you have perfect love?
There is the explanation of perfect love.
Perfect love is agape love. It is God’s love perfecting itself in the life of a Christian. It is a love that has no boundaries in its application. It is a love that is longsuffering, kind, has no envy towards others, sees no evil, thinks no evil, selfless, not selfish, is not hateful, bears the burdens of others, is not easily provoked, does not rejoice in evil, not proud, does not rejoice in sin, rejoices in the truth, and extremely sacrificial. Perfect love is the Lord Jesus Christ giving His life unreservedly to be the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It is God loving us even though we are not lovable.
There is the expectation in perfect love.
God desires that perfect love resides and is fulfilled in the life of every saved, born-again believer. It begins with a love for the brethren. When we love the brethren, we are walking in the light and not in darkness. It is the new commandment that Jesus gave unto us that we should love one another. Our human tendency is to gravitate to people whom we are comfortable with and are easy for us to get along with. This kind of love is partial. However, a holy tendency loves every believer regardless of what stage or condition they are in spiritually. We are to love one another even as God loves us.
There is the evidence of perfect love.
Perfect love is fulfilled when we care for the brethren. It is providing for a need that another brother has when we know we have the resources in us to do so. It is forgiving the offending brother seventy times seven. It is being longsuffering towards an erring brother’s ill treatment and wrong attitude with the intent to see them corrected. It is going the extra mile for a brother in need. It is praying for those who have declared themselves your enemy.
There is the eradication in perfect love.
The presence of perfect love casts out all fear. Perfect love is not afraid of doing right. Perfect love is not afraid of the face of a hateful person. Perfect love is not afraid to declare the gospel to sinners. Perfect love is not afraid of being beneficial to someone in need. It takes “me” out of the picture and has “you” as my mission. Perfect love removes a spirit of insecurity and competition. Perfect love is confidently having faith in God’s power.
There is the excellence in perfect love.
Perfect love is what unifies a church family. It is love that restores a broken marriage. It is love that patiently wins back a prodigal child. It is love that restores an erring believer. It is zeal for the Lord that has sustainability and impact. It is love that can win this world to Christ!
Does the idea of perfect love at work in your life cause you fear? Are you ready to focus your life development with perfect love as your mountain-top goal? Are you ready for God to perform the impossible through you in the life of others? Then, perfect love is the pathway for you.
Have a love-perfected God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 11-13