Sometimes I can read through scripture like I am walking down a street not really paying attention to the detail before me. I can be oblivious to anything that is happening around me and it takes something amazing to attract my attention. One of those amazing “somethings” in the first letter of John is what he says to us about the Father’s love.
1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are….
John warned his readers of false teachers who will deceive you and distract you from abiding in Christ. Right in the middle of these warnings is 1 John 3:1. It’s stunning! It’s a verse that we must consider as our motivating factor to stay in the truth of God’s Word and prepare ourselves to stand before him when Christ returns. John starts by telling us to look at a particular kind of love that the Father has given us. We need to actually see it. John also says it is a kind of love that has been given. The perfect tense verb that John uses, “has been given,” specifies that this Father’s love is a kind of love that has been given in the past for ongoing possession in the present. It remains with us, and we should be intentional about seeing it.
In 1 John 1:1-4 we are told that John and the other apostolic witnesses saw, heard and even touched that which was from the beginning – before time began. They physically saw, heard and touched Jesus. God became man and brought with him the gift of life, eternal life. Now John tells us to see this for ourselves. In trusting Christ there is an eternal blessing that becomes a reality for us all. A reality that every Christian needs to see.
Jesus is the love that God has given us who brings us into God’s family. This is our motivating factor for remaining faithful to the end. Through Christ, the kind of love that the Father has given us is adoption. Look at it. See it. This is the kind of love that the Father has given us. We have become children of God. Don’t glance over it. Don’t read on. Just take it in. See it. Think on it.
You were in a warring family against God. Your old family and your old father, the Devil, were once in co-operation against the God of the universe. There is no picture to truly describe this division. Even in the great play, Romeo and Juliet, the Capulets and the Montagues are warring families of equal standing as humans against each other with wrong on both sides. This family division doesn’t even come close to the division between a sinful human creature and the omnipotent, holy Creator of all. It should be astonishing to us to think that this Creator would forgive us. Well, the astonishment infinitely intensifies when we consider that he also adopted us into his family. We are his children. We call him Father. This should ring in the relief of praise upon our lips for all eternity. I am now in God’s care. I am his child. I am in the family of the King of the Universe and will live on his estate in full access to his glory for all eternity.
So, look now at his love. He sent his only Son to be one of us, live with us, die for us, and rise for us. He did it so that he might adopt us as his own through repentance and faith in Jesus. God, who can speak the universe into existence, is the one I call Father. That’s worth abiding in. That’s worth living for. That’s worth everything. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are! Are you kidding me?? Children of GOD. Pinch yourself!