1 John 3

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.

Looking over Christmas texts and surprised to find this from 1st John.  Shouldn’t be.  The first sentence is the astonishment of a child that finds at Christmas the gift that he/she wanted and can’t quite comprehend that with all that he/she had done and left undone the gift was still given.    Didn’t earn it, didn’t deserve it, but the gift is still there.  Love lavished upon us for no other reason than the fact that love acts that way.  The love lavished upon us makes us the children of God and that is what we are NOW.

That is a statement worth meditating on for a while.  What were we before?  We were sinners, rebels, sons of the devil, lawless.  So we get more in v. 4and 5.

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

What a great Christmas text – Jesus appeared that he might take away our sins.

I am eternally thankful that I don’t get a Christmas gift that lifts my self esteem.  Thank God I don’t get a day planner for my ultimate self perfection.  No spiritual diet, or exercise regime that will turn me through my own hard work into a child of God.  I am called God’s child by love.  Made God’s child by the death of God’s child.

We are the sons of God; that involves certain consequences, v.3. The apostle does not talk about this  as a duty and an obligation, but as a natural result. Children partake of the nature and character of their parents; children of God partake of His nature and character. Whoever lacks that similarity is no son. And every child of God is by this new nature a follower of God and of Christ.  That is a part of the gift.  Love lavished upon us.