We need to both give and receive love

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A lot of interesting topics in the news around the world this past week. I got a bit sidetracked from all that news as I was doing my message about love and what love looks like in the context of Christian faith.

Love is an amazing thing that we often take for granted and find that we need to both give and receive.

Love too often is wrapped up in the ideas of pleasure, happiness, family, friends and maybe home.

We have a sense that its very nature is familiar and knowable and that it provides instant good will.

We just know it should be simple.

As we come to understand that love is of God and that we are to model His kind of love into our world we will come to understand that love is more than a feeling—as the 70’s song by BJ Thomas says: “I’m hooked on a feeling, high on believing, that you’re in love with me...”

At the end of the day we will discover that Godly love involves self-denial and discipline.

The key text for me was 1 John 4:10-11: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The word propitiation is not a common word in our day to day vocabulary but means basically ‘payment in the place of’. A slightly richer meaning but close enough for today.

This embodies the gospel message as laid out for us that in God there is love.

So we see that love is more about our giving than our getting.

Anyway what sidetracked me was this guy by the name of Penn Jillette.

He is an illusionist that works with a guy by the name of Raymond Teller as the duo of ‘Penn and Teller.’

Really an interesting act and I kind of got wrapped up in a show they did here in the UK, hosted by Jonathan Ross, called “Fool Us”.

I’m not going to confess how many of these I actually watched apart from to say too many. But some of the tricks were amazing, fooled me most of the time!

Well that led to an interesting bit that Penn put up on Youtube about a Bible that a Gideon guy gave him a while back basically saying - ‘Hey I’m an atheist but I want to thank this guy for being a good guy with a real belief. And though I disagree with him, he showed me something good.’

The real take away statement was showing the other side of love when Penn basically asked ‘how much do you have to hate someone if you believe there is an eternal life to gain to not tell them about it?’ (You can find the whole thing on Youtube looking for “the gift of a bible”).

So it leaves me thinking about my own love for others and how I show it.

Food for my own thoughts.