Summary: This message will help the listener to discover four truths from 1st John that will help us overcome fear. It is written to help the listener understand the realationship between love and fear.
"Getting Over Fear"
1st John 4:11-18
A young five-year-old was in the kitchen as his mother was making supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. He said, it’s dark in there and I’m scared. So she asked him again but he still said… It’s dark in there and I’m afraid. Finally she had a thought she said Tommy it will be okay… Jesus will be in there with you. So he walked slowly to the pantry door and he slowly opened it. He looked inside and saw how dark it was… He started to leave when all at once an idea came and he said Jesus if you’re in there which you please hand me a can of tomato soup?
All of us can relate to Tommy. We deal with fear in some form or another… Whether it be the fear of darkness or perhaps the fear of death or maybe it is the fear of commitment or maybe it’s the fear of failure. We’ve been looking at all these different fears on Sunday morning and also on Wednesday evenings… In all at the conclusion of this Wednesday evening we will have heard 11 different messages on the subject of fear.
I can find 75 passages in the Scripture that say these words fear not. God said… Fear not for I will help you… Fear not for I have redeemed you… Jesus said fear not little flock for it is the fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
The Bible makes it clear that there are only two kinds of fear that we need to have…(1) the kind that Solomon talks about what he says fear God and keep his Commandments… That kind of fear means that we have a healthy respect for God and the other is found in the words of Jesus what he says in Matthew 10: 28…… Some take this as a reference to Satan… This is actually a reference to God… He alone has the power to destroy both soul and body in hell. And so if we have not committed our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ then we have that afraid of..
In the passage we read this morning John speaks to us very clearly about the subject of fear and he tells us in this passage how you and I can be finished with fear. Now remember he is not talking about fear of God… Rather he is talking about all of these other fears that are out there that you and I deal with every day and they hold us back from becoming all that God wants us to be.
So let’s look at what John tells us to do…four things we need to do to deal with fear. They will surprise you.
1.Let your love flow to other people…look at verse 11. Now as I said these 4 statements I’m going to give you may surprise you because we may not understand what fear and love have to do with one another. Actually they have nothing to do with one another. They are mutually exclusive. Fear and love are diametrically opposed. This means that when one is present, the other one cannot exist.
It works a lot like a see saw. When love goes up fear goes down. And when love goes down fear goes up.
Now this gets further complicated for some people because they actually have a fear of expressing their love for someone. And I’m talking about any kind of love. You know, perhaps that there are three kinds of love at the Bible mentions…*there is filial… This is brotherly love… Philadelphia… City of brotherly.*and eros, romantic kind of love. * agape… This is an unconditional kind of love it is the best kind because it does not mean we should love people for what they buy for you or for what they do for you. It’s simply means that you love them, period.
We often get this confused because we think that agape love can only be given by Christ but that’s not true. The Bible would define this kind of love in this way… It is the active love of God for his people and the active love his people are to have for God, each other and even their enemies. Now the only way you and I can love our enemies is when we allow the love of God to flow through us. Agape is the kind of love that he will actually love our enemies through us if we will just give him the opportunity.
About 16 years ago I was working very closely with a man in the church where I was serving and to put it bluntly, this man and I were really having some problems working together. This fellow was in a place of leadership in the church as a volunteer and I needed to be able to get along with this man. But it just wasn’t happening.