I thought of my granddaughters as we studied 1 John 3 last month. My daughter had posted this picture of her little one-and-a-half-year-old on Facebook early in the month. (I love the rainbow umbrella!) A walk to the park — the big park — had been promised earlier in the day. After going through all that it takes to get three little people into coats and boots and out the door, they stepped out side to be greeted by rain.
“How about going to the little park that’s just down the road?” Johanna suggested.
Nope. That didn’t fly.
What could she say when her girls came back with the line their papa, Mr. Conser, has so faithfully rehearsed with them when they’re tempted to complain or be afraid of something?
This time, faced with our ever-present Oregon rain, they knew the drill. “We’re not afraid of the rain! We’re Consers!”
You probably can guess which park they went to. 🙂
So I thought of those little girls when I read these verses in 1 John 3:
“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. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
I thought of the lesson my granddaughters taught me. They’re Consers. They belong to a family, and they know what the members of that family do and don’t do. Consers don’t whine. Consers don’t go to little parks down the road just because it’s raining.
These precious little girls don’t refrain from whining so that they can be Consers. They refrain from whining, because they are Consers. They don’t walk to parks in the rain in order to become Consers. They do it because they are Consers, and that’s what Consers do!
I’m a member of God’s family. By His grace, He calls me His child, so I am His child. By His grace, He sent His Son to “take away sin” (1 John 3:5) so that I can be His child. I don’t have to earn that privilege. Jesus already earned it for me. I don’t have to wait until I’m good enough. I am in Christ, and He meets God’s standard.
I’m God’s child. I’m a Christian!
John tells us, in the rest of 1 John 3, what God’s children are like:
- We don’t make a practice of sinning, because we are God’s children.
- We obey His commands because we are God’s children.
- We love each other because we are God’s children.
If we try to become God’s children by obeying Him, we will fail. Our lives will be filled with rules and regulations. But if we obey God because we already are His children, we will live joy-filled lives that bring glory and honor to our Father.
We need to remember these truths, and we need to teach them to our children.