The great gift given at Christmas is that because of Christ we are the children of God. Old Seminary Prof Theodore Hoyer wrote about 1 John 3 – here is a paraphrase……
We are the sons of God; and if children, then heirs, but “it does not yet appear what we shall be,” 1 John 3, 2. Christians bear no visible marks of this inheritance. Hence the world regards their claim of sonship as arrogance and treats Christians accordingly. Our own heart feels disappointed, and our reason, comparing actual experience in life with this claim, protests and doubts. And the devil encourages such doubts and prompts return to the old ways of slavery under his dominion.
Our inheritance is a hope, v. 3. We shall be like Him; we shall see Him as He is. That is a concise description of heaven: All sin abolished, and with it all the results of sin; the divine image restored, and with it all the faculties impaired or totally lost through sin; and an eternity of life in the presence of God and our Savior, a full understanding and appreciation of His ways, and full enjoyment of communion with Him. – Only a hope, but a sure hope; “we know,” v. 2. And it is the Child born in Bethlehem who has purchased for us this sure hope. What manner of love! To us such glory! Who would give more than a passing thought to the vicissitudes of life with such a hope in view ~
What manner of love! Regard it penitently, gratefully, adoringly.