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
(Revelation 21;6). He has given us all things which pertain to life
and godliness (2 Peter 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
(James 1:5). He has also given us exceedingly great and precious
promises (2 Peter 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 Corinthians 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 (Romans
12:6). He has given us a new name (Isaiah 62:2). He has given us
the right to become sons of God (1 John 1:12) and what love is
shown in this relationship (1 John 3:1).
Our God is a giver. What is our response?