God gives us such an extravagant valentine's gift of love in John 3:16 - eternal life. What can we possibly give Him in return?

~ Today’s Scripture Art of a John 3:16 Valentine and Bible blog post were designed to help you write God’s Word on your heart. ~

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I’ve got a terrific idea for you. When someone asks you what you got for Valentine’s Day, just say: eternal life!

After all, it’s the absolute most extravagant gift ever – especially when you consider we don’t deserve it.

1 John 4:9-10 (NLT): God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Honestly, we probably can’t even truly fathom the kind of love that would give an only child to die for the purpose of bearing someone else’s punishment.

It’s not exactly fair.

Yet, God loves all of us – yes, the whole world – so much that He offers that to us.

John 3:16 (ESV):  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God gives us such an extravagant valentine's gift of love in John 3:16 - eternal life. What can we possibly give Him in return?
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My Life Application Study Bible explains, “The entire gospel comes to a focus in this verse. God’s love is not static or self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. Here God sets the pattern of true love, the basis for all love relationships – when you love someone dearly, you are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of his Son, the highest price he could pay.”

Can we ever repay that highest price?

What gift can we give Him in return?

Oswald Chambers gives the perfect answer in his book: “… understand that John 3:16 means that God completely and absolutely gave Himself to us. In our surrender, we must give ourselves to God in the same way He gave Himself for us – totally, unconditionally, and without reservation.”

That’s it! We can give in the same way.

Give our very lives.

Romans 12:1 (ESV): I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Whoa. Hold on a minute.

I thought the verse said we only had to believe. 

Many have wondered about the word “believe” in this verse. Can a person have the gift of eternal life by simply believing the fact that there is a God but not show evidence of a life that loves and honors Him?

I have a feeling there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for this one. But allow me to point out another verse only a few chapters later, where John used the same Greek word (Strong’s G4100) for “believe” …

John 7:38 (ESV): Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Out of his heart flows … evidence.

That’s enough for me to think that John meant for the word “believe” to mean more than just head knowledge of the facts.

God gives us such an extravagant valentine's gift of love in John 3:16 - eternal life. What can we possibly give Him in return?

Strong’s definition of that word “believe” is: to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

And there’s one more thing we need to know.

It’s the significance of the word “in.”

My Study Bible says – “Believing occupies a central place in John’s Gospel. John does not use the noun “faith” that appears frequently elsewhere in the New Testament. John prefers the verb “believe” to underscore that faith is not static like a doctrine or a dogma, but dynamic, requiring action. In the Gospel of John, the verb translated “believe” is often followed by the Greek preposition EIS (“into”). No parallel exists for this in ancient Greek usage. For John, faith is not a status, but an investment in the person of Jesus.”

So when John wrote “believes in Him,” it did not have the same meaning as it would today. 

It meant so much more. 

It was an investment in the person of Jesus.

Which is exactly what we can gift back to Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12 (ESV): “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Mark 12:30 (ESV): And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Make this Valentine’s Day the best ever, by giving God the extravagant gift of your whole heart!

Also read: Am I Going To Heaven? Don’t just hope – be sure.

*My prayer for you is … that this blog post will inspire you to open your Bible and dig deeper into God’s Word. How about right now?

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God gives us such an extravagant valentine's gift of love in John 3:16 - eternal life. What can we possibly give Him in return?

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