Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional written by Pastor Phil Stout of JAXNAZ

Monday, October 31

Read: 1 John 3:1-3

1 John 3:1-3
New International Version (NIV)

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. 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 Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Consider: In recent days we’ve looked at the images the New Testament uses to describe the people of God—the church of Jesus Christ. We are described as the “body” of Christ. Of course, that is more than an image. The Holy Spirit dwells in the church, so we literally are the physical manifestation—the hands and feet—of Christ in our world.

We are also called the “bride” of Christ. We are loved and cherished by him beyond what we can possibly imagine. We cannot fully understand his affection toward us, but we can live in the reality of that love.

There is another image that is ubiquitous throughout the Old and New Testament. It is so engrained in our God-concept that we rarely take it out and look at it. We are called the children of God.

From the outset we are taught that God is our Father. And it is vitally important for us to live in that reality and to constantly remind ourselves that we are his children. This helps us avoid the trap of trying to earn our standing with God. Fatherhood is not something that children earn. It is a gift to them—a gift to us—at birth.

Sometimes we find ourselves trying to convince ourselves that we are worthy to be called the children of God. For many, this is the result of a distant earthly father or a dad who seemed impossible to please. When we hear the word “Father,” we have only one reference point.

While the concept of God as our Father may be deeply engrained in us, we must constantly be on guard so that we do not embrace a distorted concept of the Father. We can only grow in our understanding of the Father as we learn to walk with him day-by-day and moment-by-moment. As he teaches us to love, we learn to trust in his love more and more. We’ll never understand God’s love apart from intimacy with him.

Pray: As you pray the Lord’s Prayer, linger on the first words—“Our Father in heaven…” Prayerfully meditate on your Father. If you have or had a good relationship with your earthly father, you may want to take hold of some things about him that are most dear to you. See how that translates to your concept of your Eternal Father. If your relationship with your earthly father was negative or nonexistent, you may want to consider the longings you have for a father and see how your Eternal Father wants to guide you to that relationship with him. However you approach him, thank God for being your Father.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

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