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His Perfect Love - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - July 21

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His Perfect Love
By: Chelsey DeMatteis

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

“The closer our relationship is with the Lord, the more aware we are of our deep need for Him.”

My pastor said this statement on a during a recent Sunday morning sermon, I sat there nodding saying, “Ed, that’s good!” and while I’m sure I’ve heard something similar to that many times over the last 8 years, it stood out in a new way.

It caused me to reflect and see that what he said was most certainly true in my life. Over the last 8 years of knowing Christ, I know day by day I’ve become more stunningly aware of how perfect and holy The Lord is and how deep of a need I have for HIs grace. Which this is exactly how it should be when we think about what “sanctification” looks like as well as why we all needed the gift of grace, to begin with.

1 John 4:18, “Perfect love drives out fear” settles into my soul when I think of what my pastor said. This concept of becoming more aware of our need for Him is a pivotal point in our walk because within this truth, we are able to see that His perfect love drives out the fear we can find ourselves in.

perfect love

Fear gets me caught up in the situation I’m in and becomes a cloud over the promise of His grace. His perfection pierces the lie and slashes through the fear. God’s perfection is part of His grace. Without it there is no grace to be given because grace to cover sin can’t come from anything less than perfection. Isn’t that amazing, that within the perfect holiness and love of God, He gave us an opportunity to become right with Him?

I remember the first time I truly understood that sin equaled consequence. For the first time in my life, my heart felt accountable for the pain I inflicted on myself. I just didn’t know what to do with it.

I knew about God and about the church, but I didn’t yet understand the concept of grace. I did at that moment, standing outside my apartment complex, certainly know I wanted to be free of the heartache I was feeling. I look back at that younger me standing empty-handed and heartbroken and I wish I could tell her is this, “Everything about God is perfect. His love, His law, His word, HIs character. It’s sheer perfection and our perfect God loves you so much, even in this moment of brokenness. While I know you want to be free from the ache of your choices, you’re going to need to learn about the price Jesus paid for you and what the true meaning of grace over your life is. Because without the knowledge of these two things you won’t see the deep need and this truth won’t stick to your soul.”

1 Peter 4:8 says love covers a multitude of sins, but this promise, these sacred words, couldn’t begin healing my heart filled with brokenness because it didn’t know where they came from. I didn’t know that this promise of a love that covers a multitude of sins came from Jesus.  The perfect baby sent into the world by God wrapped in swaddled clothes who then grew up to be the man who bridged the gap.

For us to get a glimpse into the perfect heart of our Father, we must know and go to where the deepest form of love was shown to us: Jesus on the cross. We can’t lose this image, we can’t skip over this part of the story. These are the details we can’t miss because these are the ones that changed our lives. These are the truths that changed the lives of those around us. The story of truth and grace is the one that saves.

So, as you continue walking hand in hand with Christ, remember this and share this: his perfect love drives out all fear, every single fear you can imagine cannot stand up against our Almighty God. May we find ourselves daily clinging the story of Jesus’ life, may we cling to the need of His truth, and cling to the deep need of His perfect love and grace.

You can find more from Chelsey on her website, https://www.chelseydematteis.com/.

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