It’s possibly the most famous verse in Scripture.
Maybe you learned it in church or from a parent or a grandparent. Maybe you heard someone talk about it. Maybe you just saw the sign in the end zone when your team kicked the field goal.
That verse is John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Recently we focused on the part that says, “For God so loved the world…” If you are interested in reading more about it, click here.
This post will concentrate on the words, “he gave his only begotten son.”
Have you ever been around a truly generous person? Truly generous people give of themselves and they pour themselves, their resources in to everything they do.
Generous people will be the first to step up to volunteer. They will be the ones who do the jobs that no one else wants to do.
Truly generous people aren’t usually the ones who are leading the griping and complaining in an organization. Those things tear others down; generosity builds people up. Generosity and those other things simply can’t exist in the same space in a heart.
I think of all of generous people I’ve encountered in life and I think about all of the amazing things I’ve had a chance to see them do. Then, it hits me.
Their generosity pales in comparison to the generosity we find in John 3:16. We can give, but we can’t “out-give” God.
What did God give? God gives his “only begotten son.” Begotten isn’t a word that you are probably dropping in your daily conversations. It’s a “King James Bible” kind of word.
Begotten is a word that is sometimes used in reference to only children — sons and daughters. It essentially means “one of a kind, the only.” In this verse, it refers to Jesus, the only Son of God.
When God gives, God gives in a sacrificial way. God gives of himself, God gives his son.
And interestingly, the response to Jesus was mixed. Some loved him and followed him. Many rejected him.
God gives his son who is the perfect gift and some walked away because Jesus didn’t meet their expectations. They wanted a king. They wanted someone to raise the army. They wanted someone to drive the Romans out.
And they get Jesus. Jesus is not the king that people expect, but he’s the savior we desperately need.
Today, I’m thankful for a God who gives and gives and gives for all of creation. Maybe the response I need to make and consider is that I should be more willing to give of myself. Maybe I realize that God gives all, Jesus gives 100 percent and I struggle to give a mere fraction of my time in a year to worship and praise him.
God gives. Now, how do we respond?
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