My grandson loves spiders, the bigger and hairier the better! A tarantula certainly qualifies! Their size and appearance are frightening and I would not relish even the idea of them crawling all over me. This off-putting creature burrows into the ground and does not bother with webs. They will sometimes spin a trip wire at the approach of their burrows. The venom in their bite is weaker than most typical bee stings but that does not stop them from provoking fear in most people.
Today’s verse talks about fear having no place in a perfect love. In fact, this is a love that drives out fear. The one who struggles with fear of punishment does not have that complete and perfect love. Because God showed His love by sending His Son to die in our place (verse 9-10) we can know and rely on the love God has for us (verse 16). The punishment for sin has already taken place for those who place their faith in Christ.
How awful it would be to try to love and serve the Lord out of fear of pain and punishment! That is not love at all but obligation and coercion. But because He took the initiative and paid for my sin, I can enjoy a complete, undivided and sincere love for Him. I am not weighed down with guilt and shame. There is no doubt that He loves me. He has paid the price for my sin and guilt forever! I am free to love Him completely and enjoy His love without fear.
Thank you Lord, for Your perfect love without fear.