Perfect Love

1 John 4:18-19

18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.19 We love because He first loved us.

victory

It has been a long day, but these words circulate through her mind like a broken record, “Is it really over? Do I have the energy to fight for this marriage any longer?” She musters the strength to clock out after a 12 hour nursing shift which only leads to acknowledging bottled up emotions from a broken marriage.

She finds herself driving home in “autopilot” unaware of stop signs and passing emergency vehicles because fear has overwhelmed her senses. The thoughts once implanted deep within her brain have quickly surfaced into a single person dialogue. She thinks, “Why doesn’t he love me like I need to be loved? He’s just so angry all the time! Where did it all go wrong?” Yet, this time she hears a reply, “He doesn’t love you, and you aren’t good enough.” Stunned, she reflexively slams on the breaks yet her feet never move. She is disoriented because her reality doesn’t match her emotions. She quickly pulls over to catch her breath, “Am I having a nervous breakdown?” she thinks. At that very moment fear is born and rapidly growing.

As she enters through the front door of their single story country home, she shuts the door ever so softly hoping not to be noticed. She just can’t find the strength to argue any more. She removes her shoes and slides across the living room floor as anxiety and frustration increase. Her thoughts begin to take control, “Why do I have to act like this in my own home? I’m done with him and living like this!” As she enters the bedroom, her fears quickly multiply as she comes face to face with her husband. “Why are you just standing there?” she says forcefully. “Better yet, don’t answer that. I don’t have the energy to argue with you. Just get out of my way; don’t talk to me, and leave me alone. I’m obviously not good enough for you so why even try!”

As she walks around him, her eyes are unveiled for the first time in months. She sees roses and love notes scattered across the room. Her fear is crippling and attempts to induce confusion. “Wait, um, what is all of this?” she says under her breath hoping not to cry. He takes her hand and begins to speak, “I’ve been praying and God has revealed His perfect love to me. Even more, He has convicted me, and I first want to say I’m sorry.”

At that very moment, perfect love drives out all fear from their home and the Holy Spirit is allowed to begin the healing process. Trust and mutual respect will be restored. Love and generosity replace resentment and bitterness.

God reminds us that His design is perfect. His love is perfect. In fact, He sent His Son to die on a cross to save the entire world out of perfect love and perfect obedience. What a beautiful example for us all! Dear friends, always remember that fear is a spirit, one that we should not welcome and one that is not from our heavenly Father. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Perfect love is so powerful, Christ-centered love, that it drives out fear.

Satan is well aware that He is no match for the Father, but the evil one has convinced you, your family, your relationships, your friends, etc. that bitterness, fear, anger, resentment, and failure are inevitable. Today we say – NO MORE! Under the blood covering of Jesus Christ, we take back our families and relationships as we stand on perfect love! We shall never forget that Jesus Christ is the author of perfect love, and we will thrive on His cornerstone.

Question: Are you in a struggling relationship? How will you use “perfect love” to drive out fear?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Keep Going!

Galatians 6:9

So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.

never give up

Will it ever end? Maybe those words have crossed your mind this week. Between reoccurring natural disasters and the recent attack on innocent lives, there is a lot to mourn. In fact, The Psalmist said it best in Psalm 56:8, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

Is God paying attention? YES!

Does He care? OF COURSE!

Is He still in control? ABSOLUTELY!

What strikes me the most is learning to remain faithful through tragedy. In essence, I yearn to have a “prison like deliverance” similar to Paul and Silas. You see, they chose to pray and sing hymns while in jail…did you catch that? Did they sulk? No, quite the opposite; they were praising God and being powerful examples of Christ in the worst of environments. The best part of the story could arguably be the resultant salvation of the guard and his family…wow! It all started with worship in the midst of tragedy. Please hear me when I say that dear friends…it starts with simply focusing on Christ and humbly worshiping the Creator; the One who is ultimately in control!

You have no idea who is watching you! You are charged with being pillars and examples of the Most High! You have a powerful responsibility to praise during tragedy; start with worship and expect God to always show up! If you believe, the Spirit is willing and able! So, do not get tired of doing good! Keep pressing forward in the faith and making disciples. Remember, you are in the business of Kingdom authority.

P.S. Check out this great blogger who posts inspirational messages on life and faith in God: “Humble Mumblings” by Ali – click here.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Sharpening

Proverbs 27:17

17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

sharpen

I am blessed to belong to the FaithWalk South Louisiana community. FaithWalk is a ministry that “focuses closely on the person of Jesus Christ and his teachings as they apply to real experiences in our daily lives.” In addition, “It is best described as an opportunity to have a spiritual encounter with Christ. Many who have attended the weekend have experienced a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Christ as they sense His love in a dynamic way.” If you are interested in learning more about this weekend, ministry, and community, please search for your nearest community and get involved.

FaithWalk South Louisiana      https://faithwalksl.org/

[Other 4th day weekend ministries include: ACTS Retreat, Discipleship Walk, Tres Dias, Great Banquet, Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, Cursillo]

I wanted to share a profound lesson that I learned during my FaithWalk over a year ago, which was then reinforced when I worked as a servant. The devil has done a good job at convincing men that we don’t care about each other and therefore we most certainly wouldn’t be interested in developing meaningful, Christ-centered relationships aimed at building, sharpening, and edifying one another. In fact, the devil has deceived us so well, that we simply avoid each other – convincing ourselves that we are being “self-protecting.”

We think, “Why would I subject myself to judgment by a group of men? It’s easier to stay where I am.” We continue in our irrational thoughts by saying, “Men aren’t interested in ’emotional’ concepts even when it comes to Christianity; I have too much baggage so why get involved?” Our minds take us down even darker roads when we believe, “This sounds too much like high school, and that didn’t turn out very well for me. I don’t feel like being teased, bullied, or judged for my past so why try?”

Within just a few minutes of this ministry experience, doubt is erased; fear is destroyed and love WINS! You quickly realize that you are not alone. Of most importance, we must identify that there is a spiritual war on godly men. The evil one will do everything in his power to keep us apart because as the passage above states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” I have learned that most men carry baggage from their youth and superimpose those negative experiences onto adult encounters.

For me, I carried the baggage of being the short, skinny, red-headed kid who wasn’t big enough to play football. Was I teased? – Absolutely! Did I inadvertently give myself permission to own these negative feelings? – Most certainly! You see, we define our young men by ability. Sadly, most of us carry this weight around our necks for decades. I am thankful that I was able to not only identify the devil’s ploy but to release the negative permission over my life! Yes, I’m still short; I’m still skinny; I’m now bald and only wish I had my red hair. Yet, I am a child of the King, and I’m not the only one carrying baggage!

So today, I speak directly to our godly men. Stop giving the evil powers permission over your life. Your baggage does not define you, but most importantly please know you are not alone—you are loved! The best thing you could do is release these wrongfully planted evil thoughts and seek the counsel of other godly men who can mentor you, sharpen you, and build you up. Do not run the other way. That’s the devil’s hope for you. As long as you are alone, then you are “dull.” A dull sword is not as effective as a razor-sharp weapon that had been sharpened time and time again.

Question: Are you interested in attending a FaithWalk weekend or another 4th day ministry? Feel free to contact me directly, and I will help you get connected.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta