1 JOHN 3:1-3 – See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
THEME OF THE DAY: CHILDREN OF GOD RIGHT NOW. Let’s go ahead and confess it. As Christians, we don’t always live up to “family expectations” and likeness. To have overwhelming evidence this is true, think on these two commandments and how often we just don’t measure up – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35) and Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). We don’t always love like Christ commands and models. And we are not always kind to one another and maybe have difficulty forgiving someone.
The point I am making is there are times, maybe more than we would like to admit, we don’t act, speak, or think like Christians, and here is the encouraging point – our performance didn’t make us Christians, our performance doesn’t keep us Christians, and our performance doesn’t affirm we are Christians. From start to finish, everything about the Christian life is of God to include our identity as Christians.
In today’s scripture, the most important part that brings the most joy in our lives are the six words – Beloved, we are God’s children now. It doesn’t read, “Try harder and we will be God’s children now.” It also doesn’t read, “Just keep striving and someday we will be God’s children.” No, right now. This minute. Yes, even in our sinning, failures, and never measuring up Christian performance, God says, “Beloved, you are My children now. Right now. Not because you earned it, you can’t; not because you deserve it, you don’t; it is because I adopted you through My Son apart from anything about you or anything you have done to merit such family status.” The Apostle Paul wonderfully describes this staggering privilege and identity, all because of God’s sovereign grace, in the opening chapter of his letter to the Ephesians. Let’s allow that glorious scripture serve as our doxology for today’s nugget . . .
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (Ephesians 1:3-10).
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You that my identity as Your child is not based on me, but on Your amazing grace.”
QUOTE: “We are children of God because He made us and declares us so, not for anything in and of ourselves.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,