What have you become?
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! | 1 John 3:1 (NLT)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (ESV)
Have you ever stopped to look at where you are versus where you’ve come from? We often are so busy looking forward that we forget to take stock of what we have. I do this all the time with my house. My house is a tricky thing, my wife and I spend months on a job to just finish one and fall onto another one, then another one and it feels like it never stops but then I stop and realise what we have achieved. John starts this chapter with ‘See what kind of love the Father has given us…’. Have you stopped and looked at what the Father in heaven has given to you?
John wants us, off the bat, to stop and look at a ‘love’ the Father has given us, but what kind of love is this? We know through Scripture the love of God is a love which surpasses all understanding, a love so extravagant and sacrificial that it took the demonstration of the death of the Son, on a cross, for us to comprehend it! A love that is so unconditional and so gracious that Jesus rose from the grave, entered into heaven all so we could have relationship now and throughout eternity with the Father. He wanted to share it with us. With you.
I think sometimes we think this love is something we have to earn, something we have to strive for, but see, God never shared this love with you and me because he wanted something in return. He shared it because his children receive the same love. John goes on to say ‘…so we shall be called children of God’ but what does that mean? Why do you need to be a child of God? Well, this love isn’t shared with just anyone, John isn’t speaking for all mankind when he refers to ‘children of God’ but of those who believe in the Father and call out his name, ‘But as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe his name’ (John 1:12).
Are you embracing the true nature of being a child of God? To be honest, I don’t always do this. I feel pride, I feel hatred and anger towards others, I feel jealousy and I feel utter shame to call myself a follower of Christ when I deny him time and time again, but this is why the Father gives his children a love like nothing else. If we are his children, this love causes us to live differently, this love transforms those who cry out his name. If we are his children, we are called into a family that can leave the shame, pride and jealousy at the door and pickup His love so that we can show others who do not call him Father, who he his and what he’s done.
Can I challenge you today to proclaim over your life that you are a child of God? And with it, leave your old life at the door of the Father’s house to embrace the love he gives you freely when you proclaim his name, a love that has beaten death and given new life to live in freedom to proclaim the gospel in all its fullness. A love that is given to us, the children of God, because that is what we are!