The Gift that Keeps Giving
Probably the best-known Bible verse is John 3:16. We’ve heard it so many times that it can lose its message and power. “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.” This, undoubtedly, is the greatest gift ever given. We see here a picture of God, who is described by the same disciple John in his first letter, as “love.”
In 1 John 4:8 he writes, “God is love.” And God’s love gives. He loved and He loves, so He gives. It’s as natural to Him as His very being. God’s very nature is self-sacrificing love. Therefore, He gave us His Son, who gave His life for us. But it wasn’t a one-time gift.
When Jesus came here as a child, He gave up Heaven with His divinity. He laid it aside and many other things to become part of the human race, in order to give us the gift of eternal life. He gave up being in the presence of His Father and the angels. He became human and gave up the benefits of His divine power. In order to save us He had to become one of us and give up much of what He had before. But Hebrews 12:2 describes Jesus this way, “who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame.” It was a joy for Him to give Himself, to endure the cross knowing that by it we could be saved. Amazing grace, what a gift. But the giving didn’t even start there. It started when He decided it was worth it for Him to create us and give us the gift of life despite the cost to Himself. Then, after giving us life, He constantly sustained us, for in Him we live and move and have our being.
And even after His crucifixion and death, He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven to begin a new phase of His gift of giving. Scripture says that He ever lives to make intercession for us. He is there by the throne of God working and giving of Himself for us. For it is only through His merits, righteousness and sacrifice that we receive daily help for our needs and our prayers are answered. He is on duty 24/7 serving us, loving us, protecting us and interceding for us. And after His ascension, He also sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit to take His place as our helper. The Spirit works in answer to Jesus’s intercession to answer our prayers and even to make them understandable and acceptable for what is best for us. It is incredible that within the image of Jesus in the manger is wrapped up the amazing gift of God’s love, which has always been and will always be. Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.
By James Shires