1 John 3:1 How great is the 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.
I think I could preach on just about any verse John wrote, either in his Gospel or his letters! There is so much marvelous truth there, and it blesses me to read and meditate on it. There is a musical setting to the first half of this verse that I have liked for many years, that I have translated into Japanese with the prayer that this truth would sink into the believers here, because it is indeed life-changing to understand how much God loves us. That said, the last part of the verse is also a big encouragement. Frankly, we like recognition; we like to be known. There are those who dedicate themselves to that end, and some subscribe to the maxim that “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” However, that is all ephemeral and futile. All that really matters is knowing God and being known, that is, acknowledged and received, by Him. God of course knows every tiniest detail about us, but what He desires is a true relationship with us. Such a relationship is more valuable than the whole world. However, those who are of the world can’t see that, much less acknowledge it, so they don’t acknowledge those who make such a relationship their goal. Immature believers are sometimes torn, hungering for recognition by the world because they haven’t grown in recognizing all that God’s love means to them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t saved, just that they are immature.
Like every other believer, I’ve had to grow in my appreciation of this truth. I’ll confess that worldly recognition still feels good! However, I have tasted enough of a relationship with my Father to know that it is better than all worldly recognition possible. After all, this relationship is forever! I am not to be aiming for worldly recognition, or be distracted when it happens or doesn’t happen. My purpose is to “walk humbly with my God,” (Micah 6:8) doing His will on His schedule for His glory. The rewards for doing that are beyond telling!
Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of addressing You this way, talking with You and resting in Your love. Thank You for the privilege of sharing Your love with others, and for the joy of seeing some of them receive it. Thank You for the brother who was baptized in his hospital bed last week, whose funeral I am doing today. I pray that the things I said last night and will say today may draw those who hear who are not yet in relationship with You to hunger for that relationship, so that they too may open their hearts to receive Your love, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!