“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. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

John exalts the Lord concerning the wonderful gift of union with Him, both now and in eternity. We are children of God, equal in righteousness to Jesus Himself, as deserving as He of the Father’s love and blessings. It is this acceptance that makes us desire to live lives of purity and holiness, though we are ever aware of our weakness and frailty. We struggle in this life with our sinfulness and the sinful allure of the world. Yet we rejoice to know that one day that struggle will be over.

God’s love is what saves us. Love is demonstrated by God toward us and love is what He desires we extend to others. Love, as He manifests it, is so different from the the world’s major misconception of romance or physical attraction or sex. Love is a positive regard for other people, not just those who love us, not just our relatives and friends, but our enemies as well. Love is shown by self-sacrifice and caring for the needs of others without demanding or expecting anything in return. Jesus manifested such love by dying on the cross. He expects us to do the same. This seems an impossible task without faith for God knows our weakness. He equips and enables His children to obey.