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To love and be loved
January 17, 2011
by Pastor Paul Friberg, Berean Baptist Church, Glencoe

A few months ago, my daughter Sarah performed in the Glencoe-Silver Lake High School fall musical production, “Beauty and the Beast.” She was one of the townspeople, and danced later on as a knife.

The premise of the story is loving someone in spite of their outward appearance. The Beast is under a spell until he can love and be loved. He knows the dilemma he is in – who would love him when he looks as hideous as a beast?

This reminds me of how God loves us in spite of the ugliness of our sin. He demonstrated His love for us while we were sinners.

The story line between the Beast and Belle starts off on the wrong foot. Without fully thinking about it, Belle trades places with her father and becomes a prisoner in the castle. Instead of getting better, the relationship goes from bad to worse. The staff (servants) tell the Beast over and over again that he must control his temper.

In comparison, our sin may not be a bad temper. It may be lying or speaking words that hurt and tear down.

The story turns when the Beast rescues Belle. While mending his wounds, Belle says, “Thank you for saving my life.” She understood that her life was in danger when attacked by the wolves.

Our life, too, is in danger and we need a rescuer. In the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

It is amazing that the Beast fell in love with Belle before she loved him. Cogsworth and Lumiere coach him to express his love to her in the second half of the play. The Beast is afraid to tell Belle how he really feels.

The Bible says that “We love because He first loved us.” In 1 John 4:19 (NIV), we read that God has already demonstrated his love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross. This happened before any of us reading this article was even born.

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)

“Beauty and the Beast” ends with the spell being broken and everyone returning to human form. The cures of sin can be broken today by believing that Jesus Christ died for us and offers us forgiveness and eternal life.

Here is a simple prayer: “Dear God, I know that my sins have separated me from you. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ to die in my place. I now trust him to forgive me of my sins. I invite your Son into my life as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for receiving me into your eternal family. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Accept Christ today.