Today's Devotions

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Showcase:Fruit of the Spirit

  • The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness +

    Kindness: The quality of compassion and generosity, characteristic of God’s dealings towards the weak and poor, and demanded of believers. Read More
  • Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness +

    Faithfulness: it requires sacrifice, Read More
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Don  Carson

2 Chronicles 3–4; 1 John 3; Nahum 2; Luke 18

"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!" (1 John 3:1).

All of us at one time belonged to the world; to use the language of Paul, we were all "by nature objects of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). The love of the Father that has accomplished the transformation is lavish precisely because it is undeserved. Moreover:

(1) "And that is what we are!" This emphatic exclamation was probably called forth in the first instance because those who had left the church (1 John 2:19) were adept at manipulating the believers. They insisted that they alone had an inside track with God, that they alone really understood the true knowledge (gnosis), that they alone enjoyed the true anointing. This had the effect of undermining the believers. John insists that his readers have received the real anointing (1 John 2:27), that their right conduct demonstrates that they have been born of God (1 John 2:29), that they have had the love of God lavished on them and thus become children of God—"And that is what we are!" The same point must be made for the sake of believers in every generation who feel threatened by the extravagant but misguided claims of the "super-spiritual" crowd who exercise their pitiful manipulation by a kind of spiritual one-upmanship. "We are the children of God," Christians quietly affirm—and that is enough. If others do not recognize the fact, it may only attest that they themselves do not know God (1 John 3:1b).

(2) Although we are now already the children of God, "what we will be has not yet been made known" (1 John 3:2). On the one hand, we must not denigrate or minimize all that we have received: "now we are children of God." On the other, we await the consummation and our own ultimate transformation (1 John 3:2).

(3) In fact, every child of God who lives with this prospect ahead, "who has this hope in him [which probably means 'in Christ' or 'in God,' specifying the object of the hope, rather than 'in himself,' merely specifying the one who entertains the hope] purifies himself, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3). The Christian looks to what he or she will become in the consummation and is already interested in becoming like that. We receive the Father's love; we know that one day we shall be pure; so already we strive to become pure now. That is in perfect conformity with the way chapter 2 ends: "If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him" (1 John 2:29).

Reflections to Consider

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Audio & Video

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  • Witnesses for Jesus by Tim Keller (Mark 15) +

    Tim Keller discusses the significance of the women and men who saw Jesus die, buried, and resurrected.  Read More
  • Prayer-bringing light into darkness by NT Wright +

    NT Wright discusses the importance of prayer in maintaining a relationship with Jesus. Read More
  • After darkness, light-the reformation by Michael Reeves +

    Michael Reeves discusses the transformative power of bringing Jesus to the world at the heart of the Reformation. Read More
  • The Esther Option-Living in a fallen world by Mike Cosper +

    The following is an excerpt from an article on The Gospel Coalition website. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Falling in Love With God +

    “falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into Read More
  • One Holy Fire, Nicky Cruz +

    The introduction to One Holy Fire, Let the Spirit Ignite Your Soul establishes Cruz’s desire to awaken the passion and Read More
  • Transformed +

    Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love Read More
  • A Christ-Life Through Spiritual Alignment +

    A Christ-Life Through Spiritual Alignment Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. Read More
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