January 23, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Barry Kang of Symphony Church in Boston, was originally posted on March 13, 2014.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Family Resemblance”

1 John 3:1-6 (ESV)

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. 2 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. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

We often talk about abiding in the truth of Jesus.  This morning, let us consider the glorious truth that because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we have been adopted into God’s family.  One powerful implication (actually, the Bible flat out tells us this) is this: God loves us as His children! One of my greatest sources of comfort and confidence is that whatever the world may say, I am my Father’s beloved. 

And yet there is more to being a child of God than the glorious truth that God loves us.  When we are part of a human family, we know there is much more that unites us than simply love.  For example, there are many reasons how I know my children are mine and not someone else’s: I was there when they were born, took multiple photographs at the time, so I know what they look like, and I took them home from the hospital.  

Most importantly, they resemble me!  Some of the resemblances are genetic, while others come from their observing me as we’ve lived together for the past 10 to 14 years.  They are picking up my speech and other behavioral patterns. More importantly, they are picking up my principles and notions of honor, faithfulness, etc.  I believe the Apostle John is drawing a similar analogy: now that we are part of the family of God, there ought to be a family resemblance! So, do we, as God’s children through His Son, resemble Christ? 

Prayer: Father, thank You for adopting me into Your family.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy. I certainly do not deserve to be called Your child, but now that I am, help me to pick up the family resemblance.  May I honor You as I seek to become more and more like You. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 3


Lunch Break Study  

Read 1 John 3:1-6 (ESV): 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. 2 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. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

Questions to Consider

  1. What kind of love has the Father given to us?
  2. What does it mean to purify oneself?
  3. How does John define sin?  Is sinlessness our present or future reality?

Notes

  1. The Father gave us the ultimate love.  He has adopted us, we who were once his enemies, and brought us into his family, making us his children.
  2. We are to purify ourselves as Jesus is pure (v.3).  In other words, our definition of purity is to look at Jesus and follow his example.
  3. a) John defines sin as lawlessness.  Sin demonstrates a rebellious attitude to the perfect one who gives the law.  The one who “makes a practice of sinning” is a person who has decided deliberately to keep on sinning.  b) It’s both.  Jesus’ death on the cross took away our sin and broke the power of sin.  However, as John notes in chapter 1, no one is without sin presently. Rather, we are in process of becoming more and more like the Father.  Not until Jesus appears, will we be completely like him.

Evening Reflection

Can other people see that you resemble the family of God?  What ways has God changed you? In what area(s) is God asking you to submit to His transforming love?

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