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“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. John 3:16

As children of God, we have approximately 3,500 promises in the Bible. Some are given conditionally, and some are freely given. From relatively small and temporal to large and spanning eternity, Christians have been given an abundance of promises. We reach out and unwrap some of the promises, and we leave others behind.
Of those gifts that we have unwrapped, we smile at the colors, turn them side-to-side, hug them, bask in their fragrance, and soon, we toss them aside for another unwrapped present or a dollop of the world’s sweetness.
What if we opened the greatest promise in the Bible, took each part of this hope-filled gift apart, prayed, pieced it together as a beloved quilt, and wrapped it around us … every cell feeling its life-giving warmth?

For God …

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, our triune God, our God who is all that is holy, pure, and perfect acted on our behalf.

… so loved …

Almighty God, Prince of Peace, and Wonderful Counselor loved His creation. He loved you and me … in our brokenness, in our sin, in our rebellion.

… the world …

The Creator of the Universe loved His creation, even though this creation rebelled against Him, even though the man and woman said they would rather taste the forbidden fruit than trust that their Creator wanted what was best for them.

… that He gave …

The Everlasting Father gave us a gift. He had already given us the earth to take care of, and we botched it. We did the one thing that Father told us not to do; we ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We learned what sin was.

Father is giving us another gift!

… His only …

Father had only one of these, and He’s giving it to you and me! He must love us greatly.

… begotten Son …

Jesus! Father’s giving us Jesus, not an object! God’s Son left His glory with God in heaven and entered Mary’s womb to become a baby. He lived in a poor carpenter’s family. He taught the people about the kingdom of heaven. He healed the lame, touched the leper, gave sight to the blind, brought sound to the deaf, raised the dead, fed the 5,000, calmed the sea, taught the multitudes, and loved the unlovely.

Jesus, the One we nailed to the cross, took our sins upon Himself. He paid the penalty for our sins.

Jesus died on the cross.

Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus sits at the right hand of God, saying, “I paid the price for her, for him. They are my sister and brother.”

Jesus loves you and me.

… that whoever …

Anyone? Yes, anyone who reaches out and unwraps the gift. That means a murderer, a liar, an adultress, a thief … anyone.

… believes in Him …

Anyone who trusts in Jesus, God’s gift to the world, anyone who clings to Jesus.

… shall not perish …

The person who clings to Jesus will not suffer spiritual death, a separation from God that would result in great suffering in hell.

 … but have eternal life.

The gift is the fullness of life without an end … walks with God in the cool of the garden … life basking upon the glory of God … life wrapped in the color-filled quilt washed with the precious blood of Jesus.

My prayer

Father in heaven, cause Your great and precious promise to seep into every cell of our being. Cause us to understand Your incomprehensible love, a love that would give Your most precious gift to an unloving and rebellious people. We want to press into You and possess Your promise in all its depth, height, and width. Help us, Lord. Thank You, Jesus!

Tell us the promises God has given you for 2016 in the “Comment” section.

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