11. A gift and more

Now there are two things we need to realize about this beautiful gift.

The first is that a gift is not ours unless we take it; so we will need to personally accept this one:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing (counting) their trespasses (sins) to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

This tells us that God has fixed our broken relationship with Him through His Son. He will not just invite, but plead with us (through other human beings) to come individually to Him, and receive all He has for us. Ask yourself, “Do I want the biggest gift ever–the Word’s human life perishing instead of mine so that I can live forever?” If your answer is yes, you need to tell God that. (Remember how to text God?)

The second thing to understand here is that the gift comes with a Person:

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11)

This is the best part! The mind-blowing thing is that all this is not just something which took place long ago. The Word is alive now, and you can get to know Him. He did die as a human being, but He had the right and the power to take life again because He never sinned Himself, and because He is the Son of God. He’s not physically on earth any more, but He is alive, He cares a lot about you, and He’s very involved in your life though you can’t see Him. You can talk to Him, and you will become aware of what He’s saying to you and doing in your life. He is a friend like you’ve never had before. He wants you to get to know Him so that you’ll trust and love Him. Then He can start being for you all the things we listed at the beginning.

Here are some texts from Him to you:

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28,29)

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Getting to know God the Son is something like meeting someone and loving them more and more until you realize they are a part of your life you never want to lose. Marriage at its best is a commitment on the part of two people to live in close relationship—to combine two lives into one. It’s choosing to love, respect, help and care for the other person more than any other. It’s the ultimate giving of yourself. Whatever is theirs becomes yours, and whatever is yours becomes theirs. They themselves become yours and you become theirs, yet you keep your individuality and power of choice. There are strong parallels between this and the kind of relationship the Son of God wants us to have with Himself and His Father.

“If any man love Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)

It’s also like the relationship a young child may have with loving parents. The child will respect and trust them and want to please them if he or she feels secure and loved. The child will confidently bring problems to the parents to solve, and will run to them for comfort and encouragement.

“Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone….If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-9, 11)

“As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)

So we’re being invited to much more than escape from self-centeredness and death. We’re invited to know a Person who loves us truly, faithfully, and unendingly, a Person who suffered and died for us so He can give us happiness and fulfillment forever.

This might seem almost scary–more than we are looking for–but in fact it’s just what we are looking for, whether we know it or not! A man called Augustine once said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” But it’s not instant! We need to try out God the Father and His Son and decide for ourselves whether we can trust them. This will happen as we text God and see Him doing things in our lives and other people’s. It will also happen as we read His texts to us and find out more about Him.

God the Father and God the Son are not the same person, but they are the same in character and goals. This means that what you find out about one applies to the other. Sometimes, like any parent, the Father uses “tough love” so what He has done in a situation may not seem kind at first glance. We may have to look a little longer and deeper to understand. But remember His promises,

“You shall seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:14)

Indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding…then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:3-5)

It will take some time and effort, but to get to know God is to find your heart’s desire and a quality of life you’ve never experienced before. The effort will not all be yours, either! If you just keep answering God’s texts to you, He will make Himself known to you in ways that will mean a lot to you personally.