Love of God – 1 John 3:1-3

God Is Love And Lavishes It Upon Us

1 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. 2 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. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Love Lavished

Have you seen the love lavished upon us by God Almighty?  Every breath we take is a gift from Him.  Every material possession that we have is given to us by Him.  The ability and opportunity to work with our hands to provide something for the poor is a blessing from Him.  And now, through the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, we have been given an even greater gift – to be called the children of God.

Called Children

It is no fun to be an orphan, or to live in a family where there is abuse, lies, deception, and derision.  But that is exactly what we had when we were children of our old father, the devil.  He lies to us, berates us, demeans us, and tries very hard to convince us that we are worthless.  He does everything in his power to keep us from properly bearing the image of God.

But God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, has not given us the greatest gift – adoption into His family.  God’s love for us was so powerful, that He sacrificed is One and only perfect Son, Jesus Christ, that we could become His sons and daughters.  It is said that identity is the strongest form of persuasion.  God has attempted to persuade us into coning back to Him through identity as His sons and daughters.  But not everyone will heed the  call.

Some will Spurn

The world does not know Him, nor even want to know Him.  Blinded by the efforts of our enemy, hindered by the inherited nature passed on by Adam, and enticed by our own evil desires, the world around us revels in sin even as they hate it.  Unable to break free of its grip, and unable to be relieved of the pain and suffering it produces, the world continues to spiral out of control and give in to the very nature that they hate.

The world, under control of the enemy, hates to have their deeds exposed to the light.  Darkness encompasses them, and they desire to stay there, fearful and loathing themselves.  It is only the power and blessing of God and His word that can change the attitude of spurning into yearning.

Unrestricted Unveiling

And given the opportunity to know the one and only true God, He has chosen to unveil his true nature when His One and Only Son returns in glory.  At that time, we will see Him as He truly is, for we will be transformed and will be like Him.  We will finally see Him fully and know Him fully, just as He fully knows us now.  At that time, nothing will be withheld.  The full beauty, power, majesty, glory, and nature of the Son of God will be revealed to His children, as well as those who are not His children.  Those who have spurned Him will cry and mourn, and seek to flee the perfect light that will shine and penetrate all of creation.

Preparation in Purity

And for those of us who have hope in Him, we are to purify ourselves, just as He is pure.  God has given us the gift of the residence of the Holy Spirit within us to guide us, guard us, teach us, reveal His word to us, and prepare us in purity as the day of the Lord approaches.  The time is drawing near, and the signs of His coming are at hand.  Take the time to know what to look for, and look up, for your salvation draweth nigh.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I prepared for the imminent return of my Savior?

A short prayer for preparation:

Father in Heaven, You never cease to draw me close to You.  Help me to embrace You in the times of difficulty as well as the times of ease.  Strengthen me for what is to come, and help me to purify myself that I may be found prepared when Your Son, Jesus Christ, returns.  Show me in Your word the sign of His coming, and give my heart the sense of urgency that it needs to yield to You in all things.  Thank You, Father, for the love that You shower down and lavish upon me in everything that You do and say.  Help me to remember Your love when emotional pain from my hardships tries to overwhelm me.  Guard my heart against bitterness and anger, and fill me with Your love.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Trusting in God – Psalm 56:3

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Fear is an interesting emotion.  Just about everyone has experienced the heart wrenching, gut kicking, grip of fear in their lives.  When we experience that level of emotion, it has a tendency to so overpower us that we are unable to see things clearly – it effectively incapacitates us.  Fear is a natural response that God gave us to help us to survive.  Without fear, we would most probably do things that no level-headed person would ever consider doing.

The Bible indicates that fear has to do with punishment.  Yet we are told to fear God.  In the latter case, this is a reverent trust in God; not a gripping, emotional aversion.  How we respond in circumstances is a witness to the power and glory of God.  When we show fear, we are in effect saying that we cannot trust God to deliver us from our circumstances.  While this may seem odd, you may want to take a look at the life of King Hezekiah when Assyria was threatening the kingdom of Judah.

When we trust in the Lord, even when there seems to be no way to victory, it brings glory to God, and strengthens our faith.  The reason we trust is because God is faithful.  And in that, we are able to be faithful, regardless of the issues that plague us.  We trust in God for the big stuff – Salvation, Resurrection, Eternal Life, etc.  But we are told to have faith like little children.  They don’t question – they have complete, unwavering faith in their parents, especially when they don’t understand something.

So let’s ask the question:  Are we trusting God in the little stuff?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, in my times of need, please drive all fear out of my heart so that I may be able to trust you more.  My fear gets in the way of trusting that You are who You say You are.  Deepen my faith in these times, Lord God, and help me to respond in a way that glorifies Your name.  You have revealed Yourself as faithful so that others may see Your faithfulness and trust in You.  Do not let my emotions instruct my will to direct my intellect; rather, help my intellect to instruct my will so that it can direct my emotions.  You are able to do this and far more than we can ever imagine, Lord God.  Help me to be faithful to You in childlike faith and trust.  This I ask and pray in Jesus’ name, Amen

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?