“For this is how God loved the world
his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 NLT
***How exhausting it would be. Can you imagine if every time you went to visit your friend or a relative you felt required to give something? Maybe food. Maybe money. Maybe a service. Visiting would mean some kind of work on your part. Visiting could even end up stressful. Maybe you don't have to imagine. Maybe it's a reality for you.
Some have this mentality with God. We think He is always looking to get something from us. So when we come to Him, we should bring something. We might do the best we can to give Him our most eloquent prayers. Maybe drop extra money in the offering at church or give a little more to charity. No matter how it manifests itself, in our hearts we perceive God as a taker and one whose approval needs to be earned.
My friend, God is not a taker. A taker is one who grabs for things for selfish reasons. If God was a taker, He never would have even dreamed of sending His Son.
God is a GIVER. He's not looking to suck the life out of us. He's looking to GIVE life to us -in fact, life abundantly! He wants us to come to Him simply because He loves us. And when we do come, He not only welcomes us with open arms, He welcomes us with gifts in His hands. He showers us with Peace. He fills our hearts with Joy. He changes us deep inside and gives us Understanding. He heals our broken hearts.
My grandfather became a great example of this. Toward the end of his life, whenever I would visit him, he would at some point in our conversation interrupt with "Listen, I have something for you..." and would start pulling things from around his house and offer them to me as gifts. Sometimes it was jewelry. Sometimes a house decoration. And sometimes a previous family heirloom.
And this is how our Father relates to us. This is how our Father loves. Not to take, but to GIVE.