1 John 3:1-3
See what great 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. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Sometimes our words fail us. Imagine trying to describe everything you see from the top of a mountain, looking out over what could be hundreds of acres of wilderness. Instead of trying to tell about every tree and boulder, every bird soaring in the sky, every single detail of what you see, you would be best to use familiar descriptions or figurative language that others would recognize as a mountain vista. The surrounding peaks stand tall against the sky. The forest stretches on to the horizon. A stream tumbles down into the valley. These words don’t paint the whole picture, but they might help someone appreciate what you see on top of that mountain. In a similar way, John tries here to give us a taste of God’s extraordinary love that will always be more glorious and wonderful than our words can capture.
Following Jesus’ lead, the Disciples began calling God “Father.” It’s a word we understand in terms of family relationships, but when applied to God, it declares something amazing about our faith. It tells us about God’s love for us, that He cares for us like a good father cares for his children. God nurtures, disciplines, protects and provides for us. It’s a beautiful image for our relationship with God, but the word Father still doesn’t say it all. Instead, the word Father stands for something far greater. God is perfect in love, unswerving in care for his children. He never fails us, never ignores our cries for help, never leaves us alone in the darkness. We call God our Father because Jesus did and because it’s the best way we can express the inexpressible truth of the great love that He has lavished on us.
If God is our Father, then we are his children. John calls us, therefore, to become like Jesus. Not that we will ever be Jesus’ equals, but we should follow his example of honoring our Heavenly Father, listening to him, obeying him and knowing for sure that God loves us as his own precious children. Again, our words aren’t adequate for these amazing truths, but we believe in our hearts that God is our Father and we are his children. He loves us more than we could ever put into words.
Father in Heaven, thank You for adopting me as Your own child. What joy that brings my heart! Thank You for loving me. Thank You for inviting me to know and serve Your good purposes. I love You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian