Read Romans 8: 31-39
There is no fear in love, but perfect
love casts out fear.
When I was a child my family did not attend church
regularly. My primary exposure to preaching was through
radio sermons that were
mostly about fearing God’s
condemnation. I started
to attend church at age
12, and I was relieved to
discover that the preaching
there was much different. The focus was on God’s love for
us and our love for others. But a part of me worried that our
church might be watering down the Bible’s message.
Then one day I came across today’s quoted verse. I was
overjoyed to discover that God does not want us to live in fear
of condemnation. Such fearful love is incomplete, immature,
imperfect. The loving message I heard at church is true.
I am now a pastor, and I encourage my church members
not to fear the condemnation of God or of other people who
claim we are not true Christians because our beliefs and
practices differ from theirs. Paul’s message to the Romans in
today’s reading reminds us, “It is God who justifies. Who is to
condemn?” As followers of Christ, we can know that nothing
can separate us from the love of God. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Gracious God, free us from fear, and help us to
embrace the truth that through the death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ we are justified by your grace. Amen.
Michael A. Macdonald (North Carolina)
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO FEAR GOD’S CONDEMNATION
— 1 John 4: 18 (NRSV)
Thought for the Day
Nothing can separate us
from God’s love.