Most days, I wake up with a to-do list already consuming my thoughts and the worries about my family clouding the joy of a new day. How quickly I forget the pleasure of belonging to someone who loves without condition or requirement, but merely because God’s mercy is greater than any of my failings! I lose sight of what Christ has given me.
Skimming scripture, I realize I’ve forgotten the meaning and truth of the simple words, “For God so loved the world that he gave…. (John 3:16) I’ve grown so accustomed to hearing and reading that verse that I pass over it flippantly. But today I pause and allow the words to penetrate my heart.
“…he gave.” My heart bows in reverence…apology…thankfulness. Yes, Christ gave so much! He gave for me.
Even in my brokenness and imperfection, God loved me with enough passion to step down from heaven. He might have chosen wealth, ease, and a family name. Instead, the Son of God gave himself up to poverty, discomfort, and a name tarnished by claims of illegitimate birth.
Christ chose what many have experienced and yearned to escape that I might trust him.
Even in my frailty and weakness, Jesus loved me with enough passion to give grace. And, in bending down to gather me in his arms, Christ submitted himself to the sting of a whip; the sharp pain of nails thrusting through tender flesh.
Christ chose separation from the Lord that I might be saved from it. But Jesus’ giving of himself, dear one, was not just for me. Do you remember the words? For God so loved the world that he gave… (John 3:16) He gave himself for you. He gave himself for the rebellious son. He gave himself for the abused wife. He gave himself for the old man sitting lonely in a wooden chair. He gave for any and all who would accept him as the Savior! What a gift, dear friends, we have been offered through Christ.
As children of God, we can rest in the knowledge that what God willingly gives always remains—not because of our actions or inaction, but because Christ was our once-and-for-all promise of forgiveness and eternal assurance.
Today, let’s rid ourselves of the to-do list and focus on what God has already done. Such beautiful words…he gave.
- Tammy Kennington