John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
I don't know of anyone who doesn't like receiving gifts. I certainly do. For me, the best kinds of presents are the ones that I'm not expecting, and the ones that I'm not expected to pay back. Let me describe one of the gifts like that, which I received. I'll never forget it. On this particular day, I had just finished my morning bus run, and I was getting ready to leave the yard, when I heard my name being called. One of the bus drivers jumped out of her bus to present me with a rose and a message, "This is for you because Jesus loves you." Wow! I have never been affected as much by any other gift as I was with this unexpected gift. I have seen this bus driver hand a rose to other drivers, but this was the first time that I had heard the message that was attached to the rose. It's such a simple gesture with such a simple message. It changed my day.
God has given each of us an unexpected gift, an amazing gift, which cannot be paid back either. It is the gift of His Son, the gift of eternal life. God loves us so much that He went beyond all expectations in order to give us life. The gift of the rose changed my day, but God's gift of new life changed my life! We can't do anything to pay God back — except maybe to give our love and our life to those around us in thanksgiving for what Christ has done for us.
Prayer: How do we say "thanks" for all that You have given us? Lord, help us today to show You how much we love You. Help us to share Your message of love with those around us in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.