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. Verse 16 (NIV)
Buying the right gift for someone is almost always a challenge for me. Receiving a gift can also have its challenges. If we don’t really like a gift, we try to be polite and say thank-you to the giver, but later we’ll find a way to get rid of it, re-gift it or just put it in a closet. We might appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver, but if we don’t really love the gift, we’re not likely to use it or value it much.
In today’s Bible we have one of the most well-known verses in today’s world. This verse has even made it into most of the end zones of professional football. John 3:16 tells us of the most precious gift God gave to the world: Jesus Christ, his one and only Son. Sadly, many people want nothing to do with this gift. They might just ignore it and think it’s a fairy tale or that it doesn’t apply to them. They might argue that if God really wanted to help us, he should have ended poverty, war, and suffering; or should have cured cancer or cleaned up the environment. Others might be polite and say they appreciate the gift, but they don’t really do anything with it. Still others get angry and tell people not to push their religion on them.
On the other side of the spectrum there are others who absolutely love the gift of Jesus. To enjoy this gift fully, we need to know and understand how Jesus is to be received. John says we must believe in him – and this means more than just agreeing with what the Bible teaches; we need to live by faith that Jesus’ coming into the world frees us from sin and changes us to live a new full life that we can enjoy forever with him. It must be clear in the way we think, play, work, and love that Jesus is our most precious, appreciated gift!
Thank you for giving me all I need in Jesus, your one and only Son. Help me always to live and realise the beauty of your gift to me. Amen.