Transformation by Love
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
– 1 John 3:1-2
The Apostle John had been transformed by the love of Jesus. His identity was based upon that love so much that he referred to himself as “the one whom Jesus loved” five times throughout the Gospel of John. Though John was about 90 years of age at the writing of this letter, he had never stopped marveling at what he had experienced through the ministry of Jesus. For John, everything had changed on the day he met Jesus.
In his letter, John calls his readers to this same kind of marveling and this same kind of transformation: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us.”
When John invites us to see that love, he invites us to look at the cross. There, Jesus offered himself as the perfect demonstration of love. Jesus loved you so much that he took your sin upon himself in order that you may be forgiven and reconciled once and for all with the Father. Through faith in the salvific work of Jesus, you become a child of God. John would write that not only are you a child but that you have a great future of glorification ahead of you.
When John writes that you shall be like him, it means that you will enter fully into his glory. Whether it will be at his second coming or on the day that you depart this earth and behold the Lord face to face, your day of glory is certain. You can look to that day with great expectation and hope. John wanted his original readers and his future readers to delight in this promise so that their lives would be transformed. John was the only living disciple at the time of this letter. All other disciples had been martyred for their faith. Even with this loss and his own trials, John never stopped believing, never stopped hoping, and never stopped anchoring himself in the love of Jesus.
As we continue to behold the cross and marvel at what has been done for us, we are also to marvel at such love. That love of God is to become the foundation of our lives, our identities, and our callings. That love of God is to bring us the greatest assurance in this life – that we, indeed, are the children of God. As his children, we have the promise of dwelling eternally with him, not only dwelling but dwelling in glorification. The world will fade away, but the promises of God will never change!Reflection:
Are you being transformed by this amazing love of God? Are you marveling at how that love is constantly being poured out upon you?
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