V’ahavta וְאָהַבְתָּ ‘…And you shall love…’ – “Perfect Love Without Fear” – Hadassah from Jerusalem
וְאָהַבְתָּ ‘…And you shall love…’
Perfect Love Without Fear
Hadassah from Jerusalem
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment.” 1 John 4:17,18
These verses were in my ‘Daily Light on the Daily Path’ devotional for today. The well-known part of this passage is ‘…perfect love casts out fear’. But I am moved this morning by the full text and its implications.
John is telling us that our love, made perfect, full and complete; puts us in a position that we do not need to fear the day of judgement. The day is coming when Y’shua will separate the sheep from the goats. The fire will be ready to put our life’s works in and see what survives as gold. BUT there is assurance before Him- I AM HIS. Yes- I will have much of my life’s deeds go up in smoke. There will be much I will regret. But I, because of HIS great love and atoning sacrifice- may have boldness in that day. The confidence that rests not in works of righteousness that I have done- BUT by HIS mercy I stand. His manifest Grace. His unbounded Love.
I was confirmed in the Lutheran Church at age 13. My pastor – E.E. Bosserman – was a rather formidable man. A handsome, retired navy Chaplin, he carried himself a bit removed and rather regally. We loved and respected him and slightly feared him. We knew he loved us and his way of showing us was to make sure we knew our Catechism. He taught us well. He taught us Truth. I remember many of his Saturday morning confirmation lessons but the one from Revelation has always stuck with me.
He read to us:
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Rev. 19:11-13
I was enthralled with this powerful, awesome and fierce image of my Savior. I was inexplicably attracted and drawn to Him. I understood that He was coming in Judgment but the words the Pastor read made my heart swell and I felt… peace… and love.
My best friend at the time almost fainted! She fell on the floor sobbing in fear. She became quite hysterical. Poor Pastor Bosserman was quite beside himself to know what to do. He immediately dismissed us and called her mother.
I absolutely could not understand her reaction. It was like we had seen two different things. I realize now, in one way we had. Even at that age, I was called to be His. The love of the LORD was being made perfect in me. His sweet draw on my young heart was undeniable. It would still be 5 more difficult years before I surrendered completely to Him, but I will always have engraved in my heart that moment when I knew His great love.
Judgement day- No I am not afraid. I do not approach it with any pride or arrogance. I will fall on my face when I see Him because He is mighty and awesome and a consuming fire. And that fire will consume anything in me that is not Him. I embrace that time and fervently await the King’s coming.
Aug. 30, 2017
Nissim & Hadassah
Hadassah and Nissim, her accountant husband, live in a settlement just outside Jerusalem with their dog Molly. After making Aliyah (immigrating) from the U.S. with their five children in 1989, they are now semi-retired and open their home to guests and those wishing to make Aliyah. When not busy with their 16 ‘GrandWonders’, they enjoy a quiet life of study, prayer and learning to serve the LORD.