Psychologists and counselors agree that one’s observable actions of another person, not just his or her spoken or written words, provide the evidence that the person truly loves you. We’ve heard it over and over that God is love (1 John 4:8), and that He loves us with an unfailing love (Jeremiah 31:3; Ephesians 2:4). But how can we be sure that God’s love is real?

The apostle John writes, “This is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). From the original Greek language, this is rendered, “His Son, the only begotten, He gave,” emphasizing the incredible nature of the gift. “Only begotten,” used and described in John 1:14 and 18, means “unique, one of a kind and no one is His equal.” But who exactly is God’s “only begotten Son”? What’s so unique about Him?

From the start of his gospel, John reveals that Jesus is God Himself who became human like us (John 1:1), to live with us (John 1:14; also Matthew 1:23), in order to save us (John 3:17; also Matthew 1:21). Removing all doubts that He Himself is God, Jesus said, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9).

To offer one’s self is the greatest gift anyone can give. And God did exactly that. He gave the greatest gift—Himself, and His very best—His very life, to show how much He loves us (John 15:13). Here we see the amazing generosity and compassion found within God’s heart. He “showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). Jesus demonstrated the depth and intensity of God’s unfathomable love.

The best gift of all is Jesus. “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Colossians 2:1-15