LENT: GIFT

For God so loved the world that He gave. It was a gift. It wasn’t obligatory. God gave because He wanted to. He desired to. He knew that as the gift-giver there was so much joy in opening the gift of His Son. 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

There is a turning point taking place here…do you see it? No longer is the focal point on us and our sin, but rather on Jesus and his amazing graceHave you ever given a gift to someone (a child, a parent, a best friend)…a gift that you searched long and hard for….or a gift that you knew they wanted but could not afford? Let me tell you something…there is sooooo much joy in watching the recipient open the gift and to see the joy that it brings. This is EXACTLY what is happening here. God is gifting us JESUS—the most amazing gift that we could ever receive.

God wants us to open Jesus and enjoy Him and spend time with Him and get to know Him and delight in Him because God our Heavenly Father knows it is the very best gift that we could ever receive in our entire lives. And yet, this free gift of Jesus doesn’t make sense. We are so undeserving of this free gift.  We walk away and wander and sin.

 OUR DELIGHT IS IN JESUS 

A shift takes place. Our delight is not in US…but in Jesus. John 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved the world.” Period. End of story. The emphasis is not on us. Oh…how we easily forget this. The sentence continues…For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. It is in Jesus where we find our delight. It is in Jesus where we find our identity. It is in Jesus that we have redemption and forgiveness of our sins. We don’t gaze on ourselves, but rather on Jesus.

When we stand in awe of what He has done, when our eyes are lifted toward Him…we forget about who we are and remember whose we are.  

GOD FAITHFULLY PURSUES

All of us have run away from God but He keeps coming after us and coming after us over and over again. He chases us down. His love for us is unrelenting. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Genesis 3:8-9 which depicts the scene after Adam and Eve sinned,

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[a] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  

God knew exactly where they were. He is God, after all. This text exists so that we can understand the unrelenting pursuit that God has for us. It is God’s relentless love who chases you down, fights till you’re found, and leaves the ninety-nine. Despite Adam and Eve’s sin, God pursued them. He loved them. He desired a relationship with them. And the same is true for you and me. 

What is holding you back from opening the gift of Jesus today? What is your hindrance? Lack of time? Kids? Distractions? Confess it to God today.

Prayer: Dear God, Wow! You are so amazing for your unrelenting pursuit of me. Even when I️ stray and walk away, You continuously grab my attention back to You. Thank you for the gift of Jesus. Amen.