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. ~ 1 John 3:1-2 (NIV)
Can you picture yourself enjoying heaven right now? Can you picture yourself forever free from all sadness, grief, sickness, or pain? Looking into God’s eyes and seeing your Savior face-to-face? Serving God perfectly, with no more sin ever getting in the way? And can you picture yourself as a perfect child of God, standing before your perfect Father in his perfect heaven, experiencing nothing but joy, gladness, happiness, and peace that will never end?
Maybe you can’t picture all that because right now is filled with so much that is confusing, jumbled up, and messy. Maybe you can’t because right now is clouded by turmoil, pain, fears, doubts, questions, and worries. It seems like everything you see and experience is about as far away from a perfect life, in a perfect heaven as you can possibly imagine.
In a sinful world, it is easy for children of God to feel like that, and even feel like they aren’t children of God at all. That is why the words of the apostle John are so comforting. He reminds us that our status before God doesn’t depend on how we are feeling or how things are going in life right now—good or bad. Instead, our status before God depends solely on what God has declared us to be.
So, what has God declared us to be? “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” God has declared us to be his children through the forgiving work of Jesus, his Son. Not might be, could be, or will be someday. God says, “That is what we are!”
Thanks to the saving work of Jesus, we are children of God right now. We already experience so many of the blessings that come along with being his children—the strength and desire to say “No” to sin, the peace of sins forgiven, the joy of our salvation, and the certain hope of eternal life.
All these blessings, and so many more, are already ours right now, even in the midst of turmoil, pain, fears, doubts, questions, and worries that cloud this sinful life. God’s blessings will continue to be ours right up until the day our perfect heavenly Father takes us to join him as his perfect children in his perfect heaven.
Oh, how great is the love the Father has lavished on us!
Dear Father in heaven, there is no greater status we could enjoy than to be your very own children. Thank you for making us so, through the work of your Son. Grant us the joy of living as your children until the day you bring us to be with you in heaven. Amen.