Thanksgiving approaches, and we busy ourselves with preparations for the holiday. Family and friends gather as we count heads, plan and cook. It is a wonderful day as we pause to count our many blessings. Indeed, Christians are the most blessed people on earth, so much so that it is impossible to number them all. As we grab another plateful of turkey and trimmings, let us never forget the extraordinary gift that the Son of God is.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son…(John 3:16).” Consider the giver. He existed eternally before there was ever a you or me, prior to anything and everything. Then, in the pure exertion of His will it all came into being. Imagine nothing. No space, time, earth or sun. Absolutely nothing. Then it was. The all-powerful Creator did all this, and He created you and me.
He loves His creation. It is the motive behind His incredible gift, and He does not discriminate. He loves the world. Amazing! That rebellious pair that got expelled from the garden? Their murdering son? Those who refused to get on the ark? The ungodly hands that nailed His Son to a cross? Me? You? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. His desire is always for our best, so He sent His best. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”
His unique Son. God has made it possible for anyone to be His child, but there are none like Him. It is a unique relationship that spans eternity. The Son was with God and was equal with God. He was God. They shared an intimacy that exceeds our understanding, and the Father gave Him for you, me and those who couldn’t care less. The love of the Lord is universal, unbounded by time or place. It prompted history’s greatest gift, but not all will receive the extraordinary benefits.
The world saw this great present and wrinkled its collective brow. They did not recognize Him. He was even rejected by His own relatives (John 1:10-11). Even with the foreknowledge of what He would encounter, He surely must have been disappointed when faced with the reality. He confronted hypocritical religion and comforted sinners. He was rewarded with hostility. He loved them anyway. His Father did, too. Still, there were those who believed, and for them there was an exceedingly rich opportunity; a place in the family of God (John 1:12). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” The love that sent the Son offered a door that is opened by believing. With total faith and trust in Him comes eternal life. That choice is ours, but it is always available, and that is something worthy of giving thanks every day of the year. Happy Thanksgiving.