Our God is a Giver
It is remarkable that so many know the “Golden Text” of the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” It is called the “Golden Text” because many who read John 3:16 see it as summing up the story of the Bible. Our God is a giver. He gave His son, but He has given us so much more.
He gives us our food. Paul, in his sermon at Lystra, reminded the pagans that while God allowed the nations to walk in their own ways, they were still accountable to Him. They could know He existed. “He did not leave himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). That same witness has been given to us, for did He not tell us to pray about God giving us daily bread?
However, far above all of this is the spiritual food He supplies us. He has given us access to the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev. 21:6). He has given us all things which pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). He has given us the ability to understand the mystery that not even O.T. saints understood (Mark 4:11; 1 John 5:20). He has given us access to heavenly wisdom (Jas. 1:5). He has also given us exceedingly great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4). Our God truly is a giver.
He has given us the church and its attendant blessings which come with it. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). That eternal kingdom, planned from before the world began and prophesied by the Old Testament saints, has been given to us. This was more than part of His plan. It was the plan, and it was His pleasure to give it to us!
He has given to those in that kingdom the honor of telling others about His plan of redemption. That honor was not given to saints of old—not to Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah or any of the prophets. It was not given to Gabriel or Michael or any other angel in heaven. Paul described it this way: God has given to us the word of reconciliation and the work of reconciliation. We stand as the only ambassadors Jesus has on this earth saying to the world, “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).
The list of what God has given to us is seemingly endless. He has given us peace (John 14:27). He has given us grace (Rom. 12:6). He has given us a new name (Isa. 62:2). He has given us the right to become sons of God (John 1:12) and what love is shown in this relationship (1 John 3:1).
Our God is a giver. What is our response? He allows us to fill in the details, but have we not all sung at various times, “Give of your best to the Master”?