Links Daily Devotional

Loved Children, Part 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 he 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. (1 John 3:2-3, NIV)

We left off yesterday discussing children. More precisely, we left off discussing ourselves as children. Not just any children. Rather, we considered the love that makes us children of God.

Sometimes it’s hard to take up a conversation of this sort again. There are times when we play a round of golf so wonderful that we hesitate to go out again. Surely, it cannot match up to last time. Wouldn’t that just be setting ourselves up for disappointment?

In the same way, when we land in the thick of biblical truth as powerful as this—that God’s love has made us his very children!—we may be tempted to simply sit back and bask in the wonder. No need to press on. Not now. Not while the greatness of the Creator shines so supreme.

And there are times for that. Paul normally began his epistles with a full fleshing out of who we are in Christ. Only after this theology was laid down did he move into the doing. We are told in Genesis 24 that when Rebekah arrived from the east, Isaac was not there to greet her; he was out in the field meditating—thinking on the Lord of his life.

We, too, do well to think on the Lord. We should take time to step back and consider who he is and how he has chosen us. But this thinking should lead us to this key question: And now what would he have me to do? When we have received lavish love, we should—if we are right of heart—reflect on what we might do in return. Then we should do it.

This is where John was leading his readers in the passage we’ve been considering. Perhaps he had in mind Jesus’ words: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (Luke 12:48).

So what did John have in mind? Nothing short of purity.

God, John wrote, is pure. And if God is bringing us into his family, he is looking for us to reflect his very character. Purity, like all godly virtues, is something God initiates in us and something we take up before him. His supernatural work sparks our conscious effort. Therefore, compelled by his love, we make a work of purifying ourselves, resisting sin and practicing righteousness. We will be imperfect in this effort, but this should be no roadblock to our returning each day to the work—not if we keep reminding ourselves who we are: God’s loved children.

Jeff Hopper

September 18, 2013

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