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No Fear in Love

“No Fear in Love” is a book authored by Andy Braner.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:18‭-‬19 ESV

Fear. Love. For me these are two of the most overused but underestimated words in the world. For some, these words aren’t big deals anymore. Considering the fact that our society today normalizes the things that, in many aspects, are unhealthy, the aforementioned words do not have weight anymore. But as I was reading this book, I realized that these two things here are the major causes of how we act, decide, empathize, build relationships, and the way we live our lives.

We live in a constant need to be something to make sure we matter..

Andy Braner

True enough. We have this in mind that we should achieve something for us to be seen as successful or even just be noticed by the people that matter or don’t matter to us at all. I realized that maybe we are unconsciously blinded by this notion in our journey as Christians. Maybe there are times that we focus on this so much that we forget that our main aim supposedly is just to be obedient as to what God has commanded us first: to love Him and to love His people.


Braner slapped me with this. I mean, this is so true to all of us. In the first part of the book, the author made me realize a lot of things. It was like he was pertaining to me and the current situation I am in the whole time I was reading the book. Maybe one of the reasons why we feel like we are weary for a time and our knees become feeble is because we are chasing the wrong thing. We focus on our security. We focus on our comfort. We focus on our own salvation and try hard preserving it. There’s nothing wrong with doing these things and keeping them in mind always. Each of us just got to be careful. We have to be aware of our heart’s condition and should not let Jesus just dwell in a tiny compartment of it. No. He is supposed to live there without any restrictions. Let Him have all of your heart. All. We have to focus on making God’s glory be known in all the earth and that would mean you should care less for anything that won’t help you to be a part of it.

Another important thing is we have to find out how well we’re doing as we take part in God’s redemptive purpose. Are we just focusing on what people expect to see and hear from us?

We tend to box ourselves.

We tend to follow the rules strictly.

We tend to believe the notion that the people that follow and believe certain dogmas are the “good girls/boys.”

It’s for us to figure things out, after all.

Lastly, Braner’s experiences have taught me to love regardless of the person’s dark past, social standing, gender, race, beliefs, and religion. In his book he has a great emphasis on demonstrating the brotherly love that God is talking about in the Scriptures. Maybe it’s high time for us to realize and self-reflect about this as well if we have ever hoped for a better world, and if we ever understood what God meant when He said we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

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Paul's Epistles Read

Did you just skip Philemon?

Philemon is an infamous book from the New Testament. It is just composed of 25 short verses. I didn’t even remember reading this book from the New Testament. And as we all are just staying home because of these trying times, I realized that I could not let this one book just pass by. I’ve told myself that I’m not going to proceed to the next book which is one of my favorite books – Hebrews, unless I have something to take away from Philemon. Finally, it took me a day to have an answer from a question: “What good could I get from the book of Philemon?”

Reading Paul’s epistles is like one of God’s way for me to know more of Paul’s heart for the churches he has planted and its people. Honestly, when I hear of Paul’s name, the picture of him having encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus is all that I have in mind. Little did I know that I also need to read through his sufferings and most importantly, his very heart.

Paul prayed for Philemon’s faith to be effective

“..and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” Philemon 1:6

Paul knew that he won’t have much time and much means to enumerate the things that should be done in every church he has planted. He only wrote and reminded the things that matter most. He prayed that Philemon’s faith to be effective for him and for the people to know that every good thing that is shown and experienced are of Christ and for Christ. In other words Paul wants them to experience it themselves. He believed that faith would always be effective when a person knows why he/she acquires it and what it’s for.

Paul prayed for Philemon to act according to his willingness

“..but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.” Philemon 1:14

Honestly, I don’t know much about Philemon’s ministry but I pray that I there would come a time that I will be graciously given a chance to know the Scriptures more. But I believe that God was simply just showing Paul’s heart to me, best case: He lets me experience it. How glorious.

In this verse, Paul was acting as a leader. A leader’s heart should be like this. Paul prayed that Philemon might act according to his willingness. He didn’t want anyone to act like they are under a compulsion. The Apostle knows how beautiful and satisfying it is to act because you are compelled by Christ’s love.

Why don’t we have Paul’s heart then? Do the situations around us change over time? They don’t. Things are always uncertain. For me, one of the best things to learn is to how to have a heart like Paul’s. He wasn’t anxious of anything. He simply wanted his brothers in Christ to show people what they have experienced in Christ firsthand. This is so simple but we don’t remind ourselves about this because we tend to forget to hunger and thirst for God’s voice.

All Scripture is God-breathed.. (2 Timothy 3:16). We even forget about this epistle’s importance and life.

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Where should your usefulness depend on?

I have to highly recommend Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest book because as much as I’ve thought that I already know a lot, this book pierced me deeply telling me that I don’t.

“What is extremely important is for the worker’s simple relationship with Jesus Christ to be strong and growing. His usefulness to God depends on that, and that alone.”

I’ve come to a realization that I have recently used my strength alone in doing my ministry. I thought that I know much and dealt with my circumstances my way. I grew tired. It was all exhausting. I thought of quitting because I thought my life would be much easier.
One day I was burning inside. Lots of fire. And one day, all that fire consumed me negatively. Where is my motivation now?

Little did I know that I, for a time, wasn’t aware that I relied too much on what I already know. Which will seem to be more dangerous if I didn’t found myself reading a page of the book I’ve mentioned above, and finding some answers to my questions. But the book didn’t provide me the answer. The Author did.

Motivation. What should be the motivation in doing His ministry? The answer is so simple – “your relationship with Me.” These words pierced me. All along I have thought that the main motivation is to witness how we’re growing as His church but it wasn’t. The best motivation is Him.

There have been more challenges when I decided to know Him more. It even made me want to quit and not pursue it anymore but what good will life still give me if I don’t spend it with Him? There will be more pain in this pursuit but this is not my pursuit alone. It’s His. And I will joyfully watch how will He unravel my problems. He will not do it because He is only passionate about us – His children but it’s for His glory, and His glory alone.