One of the greatest subjects we can ever consider is God’s amazing love for us. It is really a stunning topic to consider how much our heavenly Father loves us. John in his 1st epistle captures it when he writes “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (3:1 NKJV). John begins this verse with the word “behold” (or “see” in another version). John is calling our attention to something very admirable, a wonderful exhibition that has been demonstrated. We need to consider this love with a deep appreciation for it is unconceivably glorious. God’s love for us is really unearthly, something beyond our comprehension that we should have so great a love lavished on us.
John calls us to consider “what manner of the Father has bestowed on us”. Do you feel loved by our amazing God? The title “Father” is a most beautiful designation for the living God. God the Father had one eternal and uniquely generated Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But our Father has a deep longing for others to be born again into His family. The holy God of the universe has made a way for us to become part of His family through the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf and He is not ashamed to be called our Father. One of the key themes in all John’s writings is love. Peter is the apostle of hope, Paul the apostle of faith but John is the apostle of love. He wants us to know that we are truly loved by the infinite God.
It is this love that allows us to become “children of God” once we have trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. This love that is bestowed on us infuses the grace of love into the believer’s heart. I don’t think we stand in awe of God’s love enough. If we have walked with the Lord a long time it is easy to take it for granted. Just as a spouse in a marriage may take their partner’s love for granted because it is always there, so we can do this with God’s love. But it is this love that places us in adoption into God’s family as His children. John doesn’t want us to miss this point so He repeats in vs. 2 when he writes, “Behold, now we are the children of God”, (v. 2a NKJV).
Because we are God’s children this fact has profound implications as to how we are to live our lives and how the world responds to us. Looking at the second part of the verse we read, “Therefore (as the result of us being God’s children) the world does not know us, because it did not know him (v.1b NKJV- emphasis added). The world is incapable of knowing God or becoming His children apart from the work of Jesus Christ. The unbelieving world never understands what changes a person into a child of God. The world has no idea what an amazing relationship it is to know the God of the universe as our “daddy (Abba). Even some Christians have a problem with this because of a distorted father image that may have been modeled by their earthly father. But we need to be amazed and awed at our heavenly Father who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cruel cross for our sins so we could be born again into His family.
John was amazed by this incredible demonstration of love. I am amazed that I have the incredible privilege of declaring this love to others. How about you? Have you found the source of this love, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be flowing into your life? If so bow and worship our amazing God, if not call out to Him in Jesus’ name in order to be born again into God’s family.
Pastor Rich Sivo