Monday, July 10, 2017

1 John 3:1-3, A Meditation

“See how great a love[1] the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and we such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

When you awoke this morning did you know that you were loved? In world of uncertainty, do you know that you are loved by God? This love is both of a magnitude (how great a love!) and a nature (what kind of love!) as to envelope us in God, overwhelm us in God, and draw us into God in Christ.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) – have you ever been loved like this? Are you aware that you are loved like this? Do not gloss over these words that perhaps are too familiar; God gave Jesus for you. Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 concerning Jesus, “who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Just as Christ Jesus loves Paul, so He loves you.

Paul writes in Romans Chapter 3, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Jesus desires “that the world may know that You [the Father] sent Me, and loved them [His people] even as You have loved me” (John 17:23). He concludes His prayer in John 17 with, “…so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

The Father loves the man, or woman, or child in Christ “even as” He loves His Only Begotten Son. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and source of light and life, are you living in relationship with Him? Then be assured that the Father loves you as He loves Jesus Christ, for you are His child; “that we would be called children of God”.

If you have not yet come into a relationship to Jesus Christ, God not only loves you, but there is a sense in which He wants to love you even more (if I can use such an expression). In John 1:12 – 13 we read, “But as many as received Him [Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

God the Father wants you to come home to Him, He wants you to know that He loves you as you are and that He desires to give you His very own life, the life that is found in Jesus Christ. The Father desires to bestow on you the name and nature of His family, His children – “that we should be called children of God”.

If you know Him in Christ, then do not forget today who you are in Jesus Christ – you are a son, or a daughter, of the living God. Do not forget the magnitude and the nature of the love which God has bestowed on you – is it any wonder that Paul writes in Romans Chapter 8, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?”

There is a lot of advertising about DNA testing, take a test and find out from what ethnic groups you are descended, take a test and find out potential health concerns. Here is the Gospel: We were created in God’s image, we rejected His image, rebelling against Him, sinning, and our sin is killing us all – inwardly and outwardly. We left His family.

Jesus Christ came to live and die and rise from the dead, making a way for us to come back to our Father God, making a way for us to leave our old family tree of death and be joined to His Family Tree of Life (Romans 5:12 – 21). In Christ we are no longer children of death but rather children of Life in Christ – “that we should be called children of God”.

While DNA testing may identify health concerns, they are all temporal – for we are all going to die physically anyway; the health concern that should matter to us all is that outside of Christ our spirits lie dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). This is why Jesus speaks of being “born from above” in John Chapter 3. We need new DNA, we need new Life. We don’t need self-improvement, we don’t need self-help, we don’t need self-esteem – we can have these things and yet remain dead and dying – these things can distract us from the disease within us – we need restoration to the life of God, and only God can give us His life…the Good News is that He deeply desires to give us His life, He deeply desires for us to know how much He loves us…how deep is this desire? He gave His Son for you, for me, for us.

If you already know God in Jesus Christ, remember today that you are loved; remember the magnitude and the nature of that love…and live in awareness of that love today.

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and we such we are.”

[1] Or, “what kind of love”

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