Getting close – love and grace catch us unawares

By Dave Henning / January 3, 2018

“No one becomes real without getting close, without being loved.  And love, like grace, sneaks up on us mostly when we’re unaware.”- John Ortberg

“This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”- 1 John 4:10 (NLT)

“Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”- Skin Horse to Velveteen Rabbit

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 14 (the final chapter) of I’d Like You More . . . as he notes that becoming real always comes with a cost.  Thus, becoming real means:

  • risking the fear of others rejecting you
  • losing freedom in order to make promises that allow for relationship
  • everlasting humiliation of the never-ending need for confession
  • letting go of the remote control- and of control in general
  • wrapping your heart around someone else’s well-being

In addition, Pastor Ortberg distinguishes between two types of love.  The first type of love seeks value in what you love.  Something that’s shiny, handsome, expensive, or useful.  However, the second type of love creates value in what you love.  John described that kind of love in 1 John 4:10.

Furthermore, Pastor Ortberg expands the connection between love and intimacy.  He writes:

“God created us to offer love to others because he wants no one to miss out on an intimate connection with him.  He loves the worst person in his world more than you love the best person in yours.  He loves everybody more than you love anybody.”

In conclusion, John stresses, Jesus didn’t become real when He became human.  Rather, Jesus brought a slice of reality to our “fake, phony, phantom world.”  By becoming real to us, Jesus modeled a real human life, making it possible for us to become real.

Today’s question: What Bible verses strengthen you in getting close to Jesus?  Please share.

Coming Monday, January 8th: the annotated bibliography of I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me

Tomorrow’s blog: “God’s people – a waiting people”

About the author

Dave Henning

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