1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
This has to be one of the most beautiful and reassuring passages in Scripture. How can I write anything to do it justice? How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us? That He calls us His children? Not in the mythological, legendary sense like our nation is a super race. Not in the false-doctrine, start-your-own-religion sense like we're the descendants of aliens or advanced beings who can transcend this material realm if we just tap into our inner powers. God is perfect and we are not He needs us to be capable of love and selflessness. We weren't before Jesus, our adoptive brother died for us on the cross, showing us how loving and selfless God is. He sacrificed His only Son so that we could become His children too.
1 John 3:4-10Gotta admit, verses 6-9 there really gives me fits. Like Paul in Romans 7:14-25, I can't seem to escape sinning no matter how much I love and seek Jesus. It seems hopelessly complicated and hopelessly difficult, but (besides Romans 8:1-4) the part that clears it up for me because John reminds us of Jesus' great commandment, love. We aren't acting like God's children when we fail to love our brother. Who's your brother? Who's your neighbor? Jesus tells us in Luke 10:25-37.
4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
What love God has lavished on us, to give us opportunities everyday to reflect His likeness by showing love toward others, no matter how different they are from us. Let's act like His children and bring honor to the family name. Let's make our Pappa proud!