Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Amazing Love (1 John 3:1-3)

My line manager at school is really kind and every now and again, she'll buy me a box of chocolates or something to say a big thank you for the hard work I've been doing. It's something she does for other staff she looks after too (just in case you were worrying)! Earlier this term, God challenged me about doing something kind for her and I decided that before Easter arrives I would buy her some nice chocolates for a change to say thank for her work for me. I thought it was a great idea but then today she goes and gives me a big Easter egg! I wanted to show her my kindness but she beat me to it. Doh!

John talks about the amazing love that God has shown to us and the impact that it has on us and those around us...

1 John 3:1-3

I love the way John uses the word 'lavish'. It makes me think of something really huge and amazing being poured down on us. Maybe like 10 tons of strawberry jelly landing on our house - Brilliant!

What has God done that's more amazing than 10 tons of jelly?! He's made it possible for us to become his children - for us to be part of his eternal family. Awesome! Imagine the safest, best, most loving family ever and then multiply it by infinity and you might get somewhere close to picturing what John's talking about. You really can't explain it properly - You have to experience the reality of it! Having God as our heavenly Dad and best friend in reality is something I really struggle to put words on. It's amazing. I'll have to leave it at that.

Then John talks about some of the impacts that this amazing love has on us if we've received it...
  • It means that people will give us a hard time for loving God because they don't recognise God's love for themselves (v1).
  • It means we have an eternal future with God where we will be completely changed into the person we were created to be - just like Jesus (v2).
  • It means the journey towards that complete change has begun already and we're learning what it looks like to be like Jesus now (v3).
We're never going to out-do God's love. He's loved us from before the beginning of time and he's made a way for us to be in his family. We can't top that! We can't do anything that will impress him enough to be friends with us. It's not about impressing him. It's about accepting him and showing him we're grateful by growing to be more like him.

So will I buy my line manager chocolates anyway? Probably. Even though she's 'lavished' chocolates on me already, I want to let her know I'm grateful. It's not about out-doing her - it's about showing her the kindness she's shown me. Unless I can think of a way I can drop 10 tons of stawberry jelly on her house... hmmm, I wonder...