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Nothing To Fear

Most kids stop believing in monsters sometime before their teens. As a single adult in my 20s, I still took running leaps into the bed after turning off the light. Long after I knew monsters aren’t real and the only thing under my bed were boxes of handbags and extra linens, fear still controlled my nightly routine.

Fear is a powerful master, but fear disappears when something more powerful takes its place.
In Acts 4, Peter and John had angered some of the most powerful men in the city. They didn’t have the political connections to get out of jail or the money to hire a great attorney. They should have been afraid. They should have felt threatened. But they weren’t.

Fearlessness comes when we experience the power of Jesus’s love. Before Peter spoke, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. When the religious leaders saw Peter and John’s confidence, “they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

John, who stood confidently with Peter in front of the Sanhedrin, later wrote, “... perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”  (1 John 4:18). Through Jesus’s death, Peter and John’s sins were paid for once and for all. They had been made perfect in Jesus’s love. Death was the worst punishment Peter and John could face, and even death wasn’t much of a threat, because they knew that when you’re right with God, death on earth leads to eternity with Jesus.

So where do you turn when fear sets in? If knowledge, age or social status gave us courage, the religious leaders would have squashed Peter and John’s ministry from the outset. Jesus’s perfect love is the only way to live free from fear forever.

Reflect:

  • Whether we realize it or not, fear always controls us in some way. What is your biggest fear? How is fear affecting your decisions?
  • If you could do anything for God and knew you would succeed, what would you do?

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