Read: 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.
1 John 3:1-3
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Being a child in your parents’ home comes with some special perks. It might not always feel like it, but it’s true. Three of the biggest perks are love, identity, and belonging. Think about it like this: if a random neighbor kid came up to your door, knocked, and asked your dad for a snack and a glass of water, he’d probably say, “I can see your house from here. Go get a snack there!” But if you asked him, he’d probably say something different.
Why? Because he loves you like a father loves his children! Because you are his child, that is what you are! And because you are his child, you belong to him and his family. That’s what makes what John says here so awesome and amazing. God the Father loves you so much that he calls you his children! Not just his children in name only, that is your identity, that is what you are! You don’t belong to the world anymore (it doesn’t even know or recognize you) you belong to him!
This sense of identity and belonging is only possible because of the love the Father poured out on us. Not because we were pure; not because we deserved it. No, it was because of love hopeless orphans could have hope. Jesus was pure when we aren’t, and in his love for us, Jesus gives us his own purity as a blessing of being adopted into this family. When we didn’t have an identity because of wrongdoing… now we have one. Our faith and hope are rooted in Jesus and that makes us children of God!
Do you know what special bonus comes with that? Some day, when Jesus returns, we will be like him. We will get to see him with our own eyes. Part of your identity and belonging in God’s family is the future hope of sharing in his glory and purity forever in heaven. That’s where the perks of love, identity, and belonging you have through faith in Jesus and being part of his family will never end.
Father in heaven, we pray to you as your children… because that is what we are. We praise you for the love you have poured out on us through Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection have brought us into your family. Hold onto us and keep us safe until that day when we will see him face-to-face and share in your glory. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Fill in the blank: John says we are ___________ of God two times!
- Which special word can we call God because we are his children?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Discuss as a family what it means to be pure.
- What kind of blessings will we enjoy because we are children of God?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- John says, “what we will be has not yet been made known. But… we shall be like [Christ].” Is that comforting or confusing to you? Share why it is, too.
- In what ways is our hope in Jesus different from regular “hope”?