We just love getting gifts! As children, we get presents, and we get all excited. Ripping off the paper and revealing the great present hidden inside, we show everyone what a great gift we have received. These days, gifts don’t come nearly as often as they did when I was growing up. But there is still an inexplicable air of excitement that goes with receiving a gift. I think it is because the gifts I receive now show the love for me that is in the heart of the giver. It makes me want to take that gift and show everyone how much I am loved.
The God of the universe has given me the greatest gift in sacrificing his only Son to purchase my freedom. That great gift demonstrates the immeasurable love that God has for me. How excited I am to have received that gift – the gift of forgiveness! But knowing the price that was paid for the gift and the love that was shown in the giving move me to share what has happened with others. I am excited to let others know that this great gift of love is available for them as well. I want those I know and love to share in the blessing of the greatest gifts: forgiveness and friendship with God.
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Friendship with God changes us. The woman at the well was ostracized from social interaction because of her lifestyle. She came to the well at a time when no one would be drawing water (midday) in order to maintain that isolation. At that well, she had an encounter with Jesus. He saw her. He knew her. He had compassion for her. That encounter changed her life. She was no longer seeking to be apart from the crowd. Instead, she went into the city and sought out those that she knew to tell them of the great gift she had received. She was excited, and she wanted others to meet Jesus and share in that same joy.
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Our story about Jesus is just as powerful as the story of the Samaritan woman. He loves us and seeks us out. Even as we hide from him, he sees us and comes after us with a desire to make us part of his family. We have become friends with God through the sacrifice of Jesus. As a result, we are able to love others and share the truth of this great gift with them. And as we share the gift we have been given with others, we bring to light God’s great love for them.
Have you received the great gift of forgiveness and life available through faith in Jesus?
If so, has your friendship with Jesus changed how you show love to others?
Are you moved by the great gift that you have received to share the news of that gift with those you know and love?
Write out the story of how you came to have a relationship with Jesus. Include details that led you to put your faith in Jesus.
Pick a person you know and ask them if you can share your story with them to get their feedback. Writing the story first will help you be focused and confident in your sharing. Then, be open and honest and share the story you have written. God will take care of the rest. He just wants us to share.
Dear Father, help me always to be excited about the great gift you have given to me through the sacrifice of Jesus. May I be always mindful of the way you love me and the great price that Jesus paid to provide that gift. May I look to the Samaritan woman as an example of how I should show that love to others. You have called me your friend. Move in my heart to share the truth regarding the change that your friendship has made in my life. Give me the courage and the love of others that I need to be able to share. I will give you all the praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Terry McGraner. Terry is an engineer at Dana Corporation. He facilitates GrowthTrack and leads a Group at the South Toledo campus. He is married and the father of four adult sons. He loves spending time with his family and communicating the truth of God’s Word to make an impact in the lives of others.
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