Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 August 2022   1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.        There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.

It’s Sunday once again my people! That means it’s gathering time. Gathering time to celebrate the Lord’s Day with praise and worship, with thanksgiving and joy in the fellowshipping of His people. Sunday is always such a great day, because it’s the day we get serious and come together to sing and dance before the Lord, with spiritual joy, like Bruh David did when he brought the ark of the Covenant home to Jerusalem. (smile) Yes friends, the Good Book tells us: ‘And David danced before the Lord with all his might, and David was girded with a linen ephod (an apron worn by the high priest in sacred Hebrew rites).’  (2 Sam. 6:14-22) 

And we’re going to open that singing and dancing today with a fairly new worship song, one written in this 21st century, and made popular by the American Gospel Artist, Tasha Cobbs. It’s aptly titled ‘ No longer a Slave to Fear.’  And that’s how we should definitely be thinking of and seeing ourselves. No longer enslaved by the enemy’s hold of sin and fear, but now, thankfully servants and children of God. So let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, in a soulful, mid-tempo version of the song. And please, please, let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh. 

In loud, harmonious voice, let’s open with the chorus a couple of times. ‘(Chorus: I’m no longer a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) You unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song, Of deliverance, from my enemies, Till all my fears are gone. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am a child of God (2) From my mother’s womb, You have chosen me, Your LOVE has called my name, I’ve been born again, Into your family, Your blood flows through my veins. (Chorus: I’m no longer, a slave to fear, For I am, a child of God (2) 

Oh oh, oh oh oh. Oh oh, oh oh oh! You split the sea, So I could walk right through, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God …You split the sea, So I could walk right through it, My fears are drowned, In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God, I am a child of God, I am a child of God…. I know who I am, I know who I am, I am a child of God! He calls me the head and not the tail, Above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower. So I no longer walk in fear, but in faith. For I am a child of God. If you are a child of God, sing Hallelujah to His glorious name!’  

Oh my fellow believers, if in these perilous and fearful times we don’t know who we are, then we’re in real bad shape! For it’s only if you’re a child of God that you have any hope of a glorious future. As we’ve been saying the last couple of days, the essence of fear is raging all through our world. The powers that be are using fear to bring us to our knees so we can do their evil work. They are using every tactic associated with fear to try and trap us. But they don’t know that we are smarter than them, and we have a High Priest and Advocate named Jesus, who has given us a spirit of power, of LOVE and of a sound (disciplined) mind to counteract their spirit of fear. (2 Tim, 1:7) 

And Jesus clearly promised that in Acts 1:8, when He told the disciples: ‘But ye shall receive power, after that (when) the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ And we know that the Holy Ghost first came upon the believers on the Day of Pentecost, some fifty days after Jesus ascended to heaven, when they turned Jerusalem upside down with their message and acts of faith. Read all about it in Acts chapter 2. And since then, the Holy Spirit has been indwelling every believer with His power and drive and discipleship for Jesus, drastically cutting into the enemy’s hold over our lives! 

And throughout the song we see references to moments when fear was heavy upon God’s people, but He delivered them through His omnipotent power; with ‘songs of deliverance from their enemies.’ There are several psalms which attest to that, like in Psalm 125, where it’s declared: ‘As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about (surrounds) his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot of (land allotted to) the righteous; lest the righteous put (reach) forth their hands into iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:2-3) 

And Psalm 126 faithfully declares: ‘The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity (bring back our captives), O Lord, as the streams in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.’ (Ps. 126:3-5) Then the song alludes to one of the times of greatest fear of God’s people: ‘You split the sea, So I could walk right through, My fears are drowned…’ 

Yes friends that’s when the Israelites in their Exodus from Egypt were on the brink of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and His mighty Egyptian army right behind them. There seemed no way for them to escape, but in God’s might and faithfulness, He made a way, by splitting the sea so they could walk through on dry land, then drowned Pharoah and his army when they came after them. And you can read all about that in Exodus 14. 

But this is my favourite part: ‘In perfect LOVE, You rescued me, so I could stand and sing, I am a child of God…’ And what does the Good Book say about perfect LOVE? John says in his first epistle: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) 

Now, the scholars explain ‘Fear hath torment,’ by saying: ‘Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still a part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us. Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be flippant and casual.’ 

So there is no need to fear if we are sincere believers in Christ Jesus, but we must have sincere reverence for the Lord’s power, position and sovereignty over our lives and the entire universe He created. And since we now know who we are, children of God, above and not beneath, lenders and not borrowers, no longer walking in fear but in faith, let’s go home very appropriately singing ‘Hallelujah to God’s glorious name!’  Yes, shout it out my people: ‘Hallelujah to God’s glorious name!’ Much LOVE!

…nothing but faith in Christ Jesus…casts out fear… 

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