3 Gifts God Gives

3 Gifts God Gives

What makes most little boys eyes light up even when it’s not Christmas morning? Trains. All three of my little men loved or still love trains. One Saturday morning, my hubby and I had the brilliant idea to take them to a train diner for breakfast.

As all quality train diners, it was located right next to the tracks. Our car tires stumbled over the rails. Screeched into a parking space. While our boys launched from the car like Tom Cruise evacuating from his plane in Top Gun. (If you’re too young to know that reference, I am sorry. Your loss.)

So the boys bolt into the restaurant. Jump into the booth. And then I blew it.

I say, “Boys, just look at them. Look at all the trains!!”

My boys started banging on the glass cabinets where collector train engines were stored.

“No babies, don’t bang on the glass. Just look at them! Shh….”

Big mistake. Big. Huge. We should have just left.

You see my boys were hoping to roll the trains across the table and feel their wheels roll on their fingers. There were hoping to connect them together and hold them in their hands. They were looking to encounter the trains. Not just imagine them.

Similarly when we approach God, he is looking to encounter us. And he wants us to encounter him so that he can give us 3  gifts. Going back to our key passage from last week we are going to focus in on Luke 3:22b.

And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The 3 gifts God gives as we encounter him are such. God desires to…

  1. Label us. 
  2. Love us.
  3. Lead us.

First off, God desires to label us as His. He says to Jesus, “You are MY SON…” He yearns for a moment every morning or night to claim us as his kids. To tell us that we belong to him. To pull us on his lap and remind us that He is our daddy. And he just happens to be bigger, stronger, smarter, and more loving than any other daddy. He desires to remind us we are his sons and daughters.

And his labels just don’t stop there. As part of his family, he wants to remind us of our identity in him and let that define us for the day. He wants to rip off the label of “failure” and write on us “forgiven”. He wants to tear down “coward” and put up “courageous”.

When we encounter God, He desires to love us. We see him say to his Son, you are the one “whom I love”.  God doesn’t just want us to sing Sunday School songs like “Jesus Loves Me,” but he wants us to unwrap his love. Open it. See it. Taste it. Feel it. Be warmed by it like the sun heating our skin on a summer day.

If we don’t encounter him, he doesn’t get the chance to let us bask in his love rather it just bounces off. God wants us to stop. Sit with Him and let his love wash over us so that our souls may be saturated with it.

Lastly, we see from this passage that God desires to lead us. He says to Jesus, “with you I am well pleased.” At first that might not seem like leadership. But affirmation very much is. He was saying, “You are right on track. Right where I want you. Well done.”

Sometimes I would rather hear that kind of leadership than the kind that says, “Wait. Get over here. Your off track. Get back in line. Come on now…”

When we sit at the feet of our Father, he has the chance to affirm the areas we are surrendering to him. The chance to affirm the steps we are taking our God-story. The chance to affirm our choice to let his voice be heard above the buzz of the world.

There are moments when we gain perspective. Where we are forced to stop. Get over ourselves and set our gaze on what is really important.

When we don’t just attend an event, but rather encounter the living God we get to have a moment like that. We unwrap the gracious gifts he gives are labeled with his Truth, loved despite our truth, and led into a life that is infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Eph 3:20)

And the coolest is thing is we aren’t just looking at it through the glass. We are living it!

In hopes to re-envision our quiet times, bible times, or whatever you want to call it. Let us be reminded like in the profound encounter we find at Jesus’ baptism to set the stage for our encounter prayerfully and privately. And anticipate him to show up personally and powerfully. Then let’s sit back and let him label us, love us, and lead us into a lead role in His story.


Click here to read last week’s post to gain more insight into Jesus’ Baptism and his encounter with the Father. 

About Erin Nicole Thompson

Erin Nicole Thompson is a fun-loving and authentic momma to 4 littles, wife of a ruggedly handsome Pastor, and as she likes to think, the CEO of her home operations. She delights in worship, cooking with good music, the sweet faces of her sleeping children, adult conversations, and some quiet time at Starbucks. She loves to serve alongside, encourage, and equip young and seasoned women. Erin is grateful to be part of what God is doing at The Chapel, a multi-campus church in Northern Chicago-land where her husband, Dave, pastors the Lake Zurich Campus. Presently, she lives to dream and follow God as he writes her story.