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There Is No Fear in Love

Today’s Reflection

FEAR IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR, but it is not a saving one. Fear can generate many things, but it cannot generate the gospel’s core: love. First John 4:18a is not engaging in sophistry when it says, “There is no fear in love.” It is telling the truth about Christian discipleship. It is telling the truth to purveyors and provocateurs of fear, whether inside or outside the church. Fear relies on the threat of death in relationship, spirit, or body. The gospel of Jesus Christ relies on fear’s nullification: God’s gracious promise of life.

– John Indermark
Do Not Live Afraid

From page 11 of Do Not Live Afraid: Faith in a Fearful World by John Indermark. Copyright ©2009 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What are you afraid of? how does the gospel speak to that fear? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”
Mark 1:17, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 20, 2018, 5:44 am

    I don’t believe that I am a fearful person. However, these past several months have brought realities more to the surface and I certainly am aware of concerns and scenarios which make me uncomfortable. God has been doing a work in me…lining me with the undercurrent of peace, calling me to a stronger trust in Him and asking me to desire His Will most. Had it been 5 years ago when all these things had happened – I likely would have been fearful, but now – I am not. Thank You, Lord.
    Even Thursday, while waiting with dad and then through his procedure – I was not fearful, nor anxious. Buoyed by many faithful pray-ers and comforted by The Spirit. Dad’s procedure went very well, no sign of cancer in his bladder. He did have to stay the night – precautionary, due to his age. The doctor is confident moving forward. Dad will have his catheter for another week and then hopefully things will return back to normal. He got home yesterday afternoon around 3:00. Mom did fairly well too, although impatient yesterday that he wasn’t home sooner.
    Father – I pray for Marcy as she returns home. May she receive what is necessary for physical recovery, as well as needed assistance from her pastor and others that will tend to needs. Help her to trust in Your Providence. I pray also for Mary and her father’s recovery and mum’s strength. And for her new job and the adjustment there. For Betsy’s new role, for Andrea’s time to spend with her grandson today (hopefully) and for her daughter. For Lou and her children. For Robert, Annaliese and Erich. For Julie’s hands and improving knee.
    Yes, You are a good, good Father.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 20, 2018, 6:00 am

    Thanks so much Jill!

    Father God I commit Jill and her parents into your hands. May your presence be so close to them and bless them abundantly! May you bless Jill’s dad with a speedy recovery.

  • robert moeller January 20, 2018, 6:43 am

    Thankful for the wonderful progress report from Jill. Your Dad has good news, now comes the transition to more comfortable and familiar activities. Your Mom, you, and your sister will be more at ease.

    Having the resources to pay my bills is a concern, God has helped me through tough times for a long time. I have to trust that God will always see me through. God has been with me through a heart attack, its been over a year and I’m doing well. Abide in God and God will abide in you.

    Thankful and hopeful for Marcy going home, Andrea seeing her daughter and grandson, Lou’s progress with her children and her mother, Betsy’s new calling and peace for her sister, Grace. Prayers for Julie’s hands, fingers, and knee. Thankful for her encouraging posts. May reconciliation and love come to Chloe and her daughters. Lord, Your spirit, wisdom, and courage is sorely needed in Washington D. C. Bipartisan solutions are present, help all concerned put the nation before party and keep the values of America intact.
    Help us rest, trust in You, Lord, and not our own understanding. Guide us to do what is right.

  • Julie January 20, 2018, 8:09 am

    I echo Robert’s fiscal fears. Wish I could rest assured in God’s provision.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich, and Annaliese
    Prayers and rejoicing for Jill aand her family
    Prayers for Mary, her job and parents
    Prayers for Andrea and her daughter and grandson
    Prayers for Betsy and Grace and Betsy’s new role
    Prayers for Chloe and her daughters
    Prayers for Marcy and Francesca and all the UR visitors old and new
    Blessings, love and heartfelt thanks to all

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 20, 2018, 6:14 pm

      Thanks Julie!

      Going to spend a day with dad at the hospital again. Hope it will cheer him up. He wants us to be thete to feed him at meal times.

      Blessings

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 20, 2018, 11:39 pm

      May God provide for your needs Julie

      Blessings

  • Francesca January 20, 2018, 8:19 am

    Lord Jesus, thank You for never leaving or forsaking us. Please help us to hold on to that truth whenever fear tries to rear it’s ugly head. Thank you for your patience and grace that sees us through when our faith weakens.
    Praying for EVERYONE who comes to this comforting site. Thank you for all of your prayers.

  • Andrea January 20, 2018, 10:00 am

    “Perfect love casts out fear.” I learned this verse as a child at a Good News Club hosted weekly by a Baptist neighbor. I am thankful for the affirming Bible verses I learned at a young age from that good woman.

    Grateful to hear Jill’s father is doing well. Continued prayers for him and for Mary’s father. Robert, I pray for you to have the financial resources you need.

    We spent last evening at my daughter’s jouse and it was a happy time together. I believe we have become closer.

    Keeping all my UR friends in prayer and wishing all a blessed weekend.

    • robert moeller January 20, 2018, 11:32 am

      Thank you, Andrea. Keeping a promise has made finances tougher for me. So far so good, hopefully one of the two properties sells soon and I will have what I need when I need it.

      So thankful that you had a “happy time” at your daughter’s house and are coming closer together. May there be more progress there. Prayers for recovery for your grandson. I had allergy instigated asthma a couple times as a child and it’s tough trying to breathe. Thankfully by age 22 my allergies faded away and now it takes special circumstances for them to occasionally
      cause problems.

      • Andrea January 20, 2018, 10:29 pm

        Thank you, Robert. I will pray for the sale of your properties.

        My grandson is back to full health now. I believe my daughter and I have reached a new level of understanding. I learned from this flare- up that I need to listen very carefully for my daughter’s underlying feelings and her deeper communication when there is tension between us. I told her that I promise to make listening be foremost in my awareness when we are together. I think the times I was not available to her when she was growing up, when she had to go back and forth between two households, has left her with some insecurity about me, some anger, and a need to be controlling in our relationship. I am the mom and need to embrace her need to have control and nurture her sense of having me Be There for her. This is a major revelation for me to come to. It is about her, not about me.

        You mentioned similarities, despite the different histories, in our situations with an adult child who struggles. I thank you for your prayers and I will continue to pray for you, your health, for you and Erich as father and son, for Erich’s job, and for Anneliese.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 20, 2018, 11:40 pm

      Thanks Andrea

      May God bless you abundantly

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 21, 2018, 12:11 am

      Andrea, glad to hear that your grandson is back to full health and you and your daughter are happy and able to communicate well.

      Blessings

  • Andrea January 20, 2018, 10:25 am

    Marcy, I am praying your transition to home is going well, you are getting the support you need, and you continue to recover and gain strength. Blessings.

  • Marcy January 20, 2018, 11:03 am

    Oh my loving and caring, God-filled UR siblings and family members, I am in need of your prayers. I got home in a medicar yesterday at 5pm. I had to be wheeled up the walk to the door of my building, and even with the oxygen, it was a struggle to get up the 21 stairs to my apt. Walking, my oxygen falls to 85. Climbing stairs, it falls to 75. These are both without oxygen. Thanking God, our Father, that at rest, without oxygen, I’m at 97. So at least,I don’t have to have the oxygen all the time. I don’t know why the oxygen doesn’t help when even slightly exerting myself, unless I need more oxygen for those times. I have no home healthcare; no one wants to take Medicaid supplemented insurance, even with my insurance attached. I’m in real need of this help. Also, I have applied for assistance from the State of Illinois for housekeeping, laundry and grocery shopping, while still in the hospital with their social worker. My apartment, while not real dirty, has a lot of dust and hair from Lucy, my little friend and therapy cat. That’s not good for the breathing, either. I also have developed a headache, fever and frequent trips to the washroom last night and still have it now. I have an appt with my PCP @ 6pm Monday, but don’t know if I should wait that long. I’m know I’m back in the hospital if I am sick again. Living alone is really hard for someone in my situation. My faith in God has not lessened, my hope is ever alive and present and I try to Love those whose stances directly affect many people in my situation, along with issues of greediness, constantly at war, racism, xenophobia and fear mongering. This is extremely difficult, but if 1 Corinthians 13 is my favorite chapter in the Bible, which it is, I must keep trying. So, yes, fear has crept in when I consider the practical needs I have, and I am praying to God for a solution to be found soon. Please, Lord, have mercy on my soul. I am visualizing myself in Jesus’ loving care, where He is lifting me when I cannot walk, sitting with me as I pray and study the Bible and when I’m struggling to breathe, He is holding me close in His Everlasting Arms. Thank you, Andrea, for this deeply comforting way of leaning into Jesus Christ.

    I have prayed for each of you, dear family, individually and as a group. Praises for the Dad’s of Jill and Mary, and praying for any and all who are dealing with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual issues that we are victorious in our belief in our Triune God. Praises for simple pleasures, Lord, don’t let us take them for granted. Praying for compassion everywhere, but especially for the poverty-stricken and sick in this country, those with no roof over their heads or food to eat. O Compassionate God, let Your LOVE overcome all discord. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, mend our brokenness, whether it be bodily, relationally, financial or whatever tries to stoke fear within us.

    Thank you, Jill, Robert, Andrea, Julie, Francesca, Lou, Mary, and everyone for your your comments and prayers. To those reading, I’m praying for you and God knows your needs. He is mighty to save!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Andrea January 20, 2018, 7:12 pm

      Marcy, I pray for your health, and that you get the home health care and the other assistance you need to be at home. Know your UR prayer friends encircle you with prayer.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 21, 2018, 12:13 am

      Thanks dear Marcy

      May all your needs be met

      Blessings

    • Connie January 21, 2018, 8:16 am

      Praying for you, Marcy. I hope God sends you good help. It is unthinkable and heartbreaking when someone with health issues is alone. May God work a miracle.
      I remember a saying “I don’t believe in miracles, I rely on them”……relying on one for YOU.

    • robert moeller January 21, 2018, 3:41 pm

      Marcy, I’m so thankful you are safely home, am praying for support so you get the care and help you need. Awesome that you have oxygen to help when necessary, but can do a lot without it. Very helpful. You have help from your pastor and I assume that means from your church. Prayers that your insurance plus Medicaid and help from the state of Illinois will do what is needed. Of course God is always there. God is unlimited hope and love. As Jesus once said to some one ill, “Your faith will make you well.” I believe that is true.

      Knowing this might also perk you up. I’m well underway with a branchline railroad combine for the Saint Johnsbury and Lake Champlain later Saint Johnsbury and Lamoille County railroad. It ran from Swanton VT to St. Johnsbury VT. Thankfully there is a craftsman kit for this signature St.J&LC car. There is a great chance I rode in this car or a another combine on this railroad sometime between ’53 and ’56. This combine is a wood car.

      Take good care, God is with you.

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