“For God so loved the world that he gave…” —John 3:16 NLV
When we approach this time of year, we think about giving. Whether there are many persons on our shopping list oe few, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that giving is more about stuff than it is about love. But God gave us the perfect perspective on giving when he sent Jesus to stand in our place. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” You may have heard that verse a million times. Instead of focusing on the giving part, look to love. Jesus said there is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). When he shared idea this with his disciples, he was in fact giving away not only his life, but the love he had for them. Jesus made a decision to sacrifice himself for love — he gave away a most prized possession because he loved. When we give love to others, we let them know we are thankful they are a part of our lives. We may give away love in the form of gifts, or a smile, or kind word. But however we choose to show love, we give it away with unspoken gratefulness. That is why love is so powerful. The recipient and the giver both share something that started with God. God chose to give away the gift of his Son so that we might come to know just how much he loves us. When contemplating your gift giving this season, reset your mind to the reason why we are compelled to give, love.