by Lori Altebaumer
These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17 NKJV
Re-gifting is not a talent I possess. Fear someone will find out it’s a re-gift and realize what an ungrateful person I am causes more angst than simply keeping the unwanted gift. I’ll wear clothes I don’t like, read books that don’t interest me, and keep art I can’t explain. Someone made the effort to give me the gift, and I am determined to honor the thought no matter how much I suffer.
But there is one gift I’m not only happy to re-gift, but commanded I should—the undeserved gift of God’s love.
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 NKJV
The first and greatest gift of all is the love of God. Without God’s love, there would be no hope in this world and no way to spend eternity in His holy and righteous presence in the next.
This love God shows us is undeserved, unearned, and too often, unshared.
People give gifts to people they care about. Rarely will they give a gift to a stranger, and even less often to someone they don’t like. Not God. He gave His best gift to the least worthy—rowdy uneducated fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, and outcasts.
He gave this gift to us.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NKJV
I’m not worthy of such a gift. Yet God wrapped it in swaddling clothes and rested it gently in a bed of straw just for me. Clearly he knew the gift was so awesome, He didn’t need fancy wrapping paper and a big, red bow.
The immeasurable worth of this gift—the ability to be seen as righteous, the forgiveness of my sins, a new life—is amazing enough. But wait… there’s more.
The gift also comes with lifetime access to a helper Who will be with me forever. I get the strength and power to persevere no matter what life brings. I get wisdom as a constant companion, so I’m never without understanding.
Most treasured of all, I get to spend eternity in the presence and glory of the One who created me and knows me intimately well—the One who wanted me when I was unworthy, and He alone knew just how unworthy.
And He not only wants me to re-gift, He commands me to do so.
“These things I command you, that you love one another.” These are the red-letter words of Jesus spoken in John 15:17 (NKJV).
God’s love is kind of like the Friendship Bread we used to make years ago.
This bread started as a bit of dough that fermented and grew. Every few days you divided it into parts for baking into loaves and for starting more dough that would become next week’s loaves. This dough had a life of its own. If I kept feeding and tending to it, I could continue making loaves of bread into perpetuity—as everyone feared I might. A person simply couldn’t out give the Friendship Bread.
Because this dough was always growing, it had to be shared.
Only when I stopped sharing did it die.
This is God’s love. Gifting it away doesn’t diminish my portion. The more I give, the greater my capacity to receive it becomes.
This Valentine’s Day we don’t need a colorful card, fresh flowers, or fancy chocolate. We already have what the world needs most—the gift of God’s love.
And when we share it, we’ll find an even larger portion filling our own hearts. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.
This article has been brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Lori Altebaumer is a writer who only half-jokingly tells others she lives with one foot in a parallel universe. With her boots on the ground, head in the clouds, and heart in His hands, she is a wandering soul with a home-keeping heart in search of life’s best adventures. Lori loves sharing the joys of living a Christ-centered life with others through her writing.
Her first novel, A Firm Place to Stand, released in January 2020. She also blogs regularly on her website www.lorialtebaumer.com. In between writing, Lori enjoys traveling with her husband and visiting her adult children where she can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat here.
Join the conversation: What opportunities has God given you to share His love with others?