December 20

1 John 4:16,18-19 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

18There 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. 19We love because he first loved us.

Love is first in the list of the fruits of the Spirit. God is so much more than what we often refer to as love. God is not a sentiment or emotion. Love is one of the attributes of God, just one of the fruits of the Spirit, though it is first and foremost. It is like saying, "Bob is friendly." It doesn't mean that all friendliness is Bob. The difference is when we see genuinely unselfish love, perfect love, we know that it came from God.

In this perfect love that is a part of the very nature of God, there is no fear. You realize that the One who is over all things will see you through whatever comes into your life. Like children in the arms of their strong father, we are safe and secure. If trouble should come through the door, Daddy will deal with it. If I have done something wrong, Daddy might discipline me, but never too harshly, for He loves me.

If we fear, we have not discovered the fullness of His love. We are still anxious about what He will bring our way. We wonder if He won't get fed up with us and send us away. But when we see the extent of His love, we will never fear these things. That is where we find peace in the midst of a storm. The more we see that unconditional love, the more we love Him in return. Love begets love. You can't help but love someone who loves you so unconditionally.

Consider: If you want to love Him more, dwell on His great love for you.