Summary: Gos has lavished His love on us even to the point of calling us His sons.
"His Great Love"
1 Jn. 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: . . . (KJV)
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!. . . (NIV)
Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called ‘children of God.’ . . . (JB Phillips)
See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for He allows us to be called His children--think of it--and we really are!. . . (LB)
Though I have been asked several times, and have tried to pinpoint an answer, I still find it hard to say what my favorite scripture verse is. So many of them have ministered so wonderfully to me. But this verse certainly ranks right up there near the top of the list (with several others).
I think I’ve preached this text more than any other so far. And it continues to make music in my soul!
The Greatness of the Loving
John says, Behold, what manner of love. . . or, How great is the love. . .
If you and I could even begin to grasp the true greatness of the love of God for us we would never underestimate His love. But as it is so many people honestly wonder if God could still love them after all they’ve done.
That kind of thinking is based on a faulty presupposition about the love of God. It presumes God loves you because you were smart enough to take Him up on His offer of salvation. Or because you were good enough to obey His will. Or because you became His child through adoption in Christ. Those are all lies sold by the Devil!
Any idea of the love of God that is based on your performance can only lead to further error. You cannot start off wrong and end up right.
The things I mentioned are all good reasons: You were smart to act on His offer of salvation; The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, . . . (Pr. 9:10a, 1:7) It is good to be obedient to His will - . . .Well done, good and faithful servant! . . . (Mt. 25:23) And you have been adopted as His very own - . . . you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Rom. 8:15)
But none of those things can explain why God loves you. They are evidences of His love. For the scriptures say, But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)
If we truly believed in the love of God for us as revealed in the Scriptures we would not minimize His love. We will sometimes hear someone comment "Only God could love a person like that." As if that was something less than wonderful. (Kind of like we meekly remark, "all I can do is pray...") Oh! If God loves you what else matters!? Who else matters?
"Though all the world forsake me still I will follow..."
It makes for a good chorus, but if we could move it from merely an emotional level to somewhere deep down in our soul it would be an immovable anchor in times of storm.
Think about the greatness of this love the Father has bestowed upon us. Think about the kind of love this is. It is God’s love. That makes it a special kind of love. It is no lesser love than that of the Father Himself.
It is an adoptive love. Through the miracle of the greatness of God’s love we become the children of God! Heirs to the Father, joint heirs with the Son.
I have heard of adoptive parents comforting their children with the idea of their love by saying, "Birth children are born to birth parents who simply accept the child who comes, but we chose you. . ."
How great is the love of God that chose us.
The Greatness of the Giving
John exclaims, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, . . . How great is the love the Father has lavished on us . . .
The natural reading of this verse is more like, "See what manner of love the Father has given to us..." (GB) But the word bears the idea "to give freely" so the translators try to convey that meaning with the words "bestow" and "lavish."
God does not give His love to us in some beggarly fashion. His love is not given stingily or guardedly in small doses. He lavishes His love upon us copiously!