“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
It was a cold windy morning, December 22, 2006 in downtown Dallas. My first son Jack was born that morning, all eight pounds plus of him. He looked like a little alien, and yet he was perfect. As the nurses looked him over carefully, they confirmed it: he had all 10 fingers and toes, a strong heartbeat, good eyes (even though his eyelids were closed so tight), and a great scream that showed off his powerful lungs. Yep, he was absolutely perfect!
I had only seen him through a sonogram, but to see him in real life made the anticipation and the wait worth it. For the first time, I was a father, a parent. After the nurses cleaned Jack up, they swaddled him like a baby burrito, and handed him over to me for the very first time. Instantly, John 3:16 came to my mind.
For the first time, I recited that verse from the perspective of a parent. As a new parent, I had a better understanding of God’s love for us. He loved us so much that He would send His One and only Son not just to live among us, but also to die for us. Jesus did not die for good perfect people but for sinners. For people who kill other people, who lie, steal, cheat, who do all kinds of evil things. Yes, we all are guilty of those kinds of things. He died for people just like you and me.
As I held my firstborn son, I knew in my heart that I would not be willing to sacrifice him for ANYBODY! If saving someone's life required me to give up my own son, I'm sorry, but that person would be in big trouble because there is no way I would hand him over! And yet, that is exactly what God did for you and for me. He gave His Best. He gave His One and Only. He gave us Jesus, the greatest gift to mankind.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12
1. What is the best Christmas gift you have EVER received?
2. What would you sacrifice for someone you loved? Would you be able to give your life or the life of someone you love?
3. As you think about God’s great and sacrificial love for people, how can you better demonstrate that kind of love in your life?
Kevin helps lead our Day One Contemporary Service, oversees our local, national, and international mission efforts, and loves teaching and spending time with the young adults. His favorite time of the year is Christmas, and he's been known to play Christmas songs in July. He and his wife, Kim, have three great kids.