August 11, 2021
Scripture: 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. 1 John 3:1-2 ESV
Observation: As John shifts his thinking toward our privileged relationship as God’s children, he emphasizes “seeing.” See how God has shown his love toward us. See how he sent his only Son into our world to die for us that we should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). See how his sacrificial love made possible our spiritual rebirth into his family (John 3:1-15). And even though here and now we cannot fully see our likeness to his Son, when Jesus returns, we will behold his glorious image and see how he has completed the good work in us (Philippians 1:6). In the middle of this train of thought, John cautions us not to be surprised when others who do not know God look at us strangely (when they do not recognize or comprehend our godly transformation).
Takeaway: Our path toward sanctification presents many challenges, one of which is being a social misfit. If we seek popularity with a godless culture, our spirits will conflict with God’s purpose for our lives (1 John 2:15-17). But if we nurture our identity as children of God, then we will be able to reach out to a lost world and show them his sacrificial love and holiness without concern for their approval.
Prayer: Father God, sharpen our spiritual vision of your love at work in us, that we too might sacrificial love others without concern for their approval. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling