"See what great 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
Change. Nothing gets us more riled up than change! Change is hard. Change is messy. Change is uncomfortable.
But some change is good. Change means growth. Change means learning. Change means new experiences and new friends. Contrary to popular belief, change is good. To be sure, the Gospel brings change.
The love of God, the love which God has lavished upon us in Christ, brings big change to our lives. In fact, this love which God has poured out upon us changes everything. John writes in 1 John, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
At St. Mark we are in a sermon series titled “Real Faith”. Throughout this series we have continued to see that a real faith isn’t grounded in ourselves or in what we can do for God. Real Faith is grounded in Jesus. The real, historical Jesus crucified and risen from the dead. The real Jesus that brings us forgiveness of sins. The real Jesus that brings us real satisfaction, a contentment that the world cannot provide.
In the same way, real change comes through Jesus as well. For the love which God lavishes upon us through His Word and Sacraments changes forever who we are and alters our fundamental identity. No longer are we defined by our sin, our self-doubt, our inconsistencies, or our failures. Now we are defined by our relationship with God.
We are defined by the relationship that He made possible through Jesus. John says that we are ‘children of God’. That’s who we are. That’s our identity. Not the inconsistent, sinful mess we see in the mirror. But a child of God, dearly (and lavishly!) loved by our Heavenly Father. That’s it. That’s who we are. And it does change everything, doesn’t it?
Knowing that you’re a dearly loved child of the Heavenly Father changes how we approach our work, our schooling, or our play. We don’t work to earn approval or stature. We don’t work in order to prove anything to anyone. We’re already children of God (!!). So instead of working to show others how great we are, work becomes something we do for others. We can work in order to serve our neighbors. We can work in order to bring some good into the world. We can work in order to love and encourage our co-workers or employees.
Because of God’s incredible love for us we experience change. Real Change that transforms our entire life.
Want to receive devotions in your inbox each week? Click HERE and sign up!