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.
1 John 3:1 (NIV)
I presented my little niece with a box. She looked at it and turned it over in her small hands a few times. Interested she gazed intently. In her little mind, she knew there must be something more to this box. She could hear something rattle inside but couldn’t see the opening. It was a puzzle box. She was determined to figure out the puzzle. After a few minutes, I showed her how to open the box.
Her wrinkled, trying-to-figure-it-out brow melted into pure joy as she saw the trinket inside the box. She giggled as joy replaced her confusion, and her eyes lit up as excitement replaced the tedium.
John continues his letter with; See what great love the Father has lavished on us. Look! Take note! Examine it. It’s worth more than an casual glance. After the warnings of chapter 2—those who abandon the faith and those who are anti-Christ, John redirects the reader to the foundation the believer’s faith.
John didn’t write, by the way, you know God loves you. Right? Some translations use the word, “Behold.” That is not a common word in the American vernacular. In fact, you most likely only hear that word in church and then, most often it’s during the annual Christmas play when the angel speaks to the shepherds, “Behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy.”
Behold! It’s worth taking a long, intent look at the love God has for you.
If you are a believer, it’s easy to slip into a familiar, common relationship with a God who loves you. That is not the attitude John is trying to convey. Accepting Christ’s sacrifice changes the believer. That repentance John wrote about earlier—made you a child of God.
As a child of God, you become a target. God lavishes His pure, undeserved, uncontainable, unmatched love on you—His child. God’s aim in spot-on. He never misses. You can bob and weave trying to tell Him you’re imperfect and undeserving, but He keeps loving you anyway, in spite of your imperfection. You see, God knew you were imperfect when He sent His Son to die. That is why He sent His son to die.
Your imperfection doesn’t change God’s love for you.
GOD LOVES YOU!!!
Wow! Behold that.
Let that notion sink into your heart. Let God’s love for you consume you, motivate you, comfort you, inspire you and cause you to worship a God who owes you nothing but offers you everything. Abandon the tedium of trying to be good enough to deserve God’s love and indulge yourself in the excitement that being loved by Him can bring to your life.
Father, thank You doesn’t seem to be enough. Your love is overwhelming. Help me behold it every day. I don’t want Your love for me to become common or an unremarkable part of my life.