See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
1 John 3:1a
Recently, my pastor preached a sermon around our opening Scripture. His message challenged us to reacquaint ourselves with the Father’s love.
I wonder if some of us are still awaiting an introduction.
For many, God’s love remains a theory. We’ve heard about it. We quote Scriptures about it. We may even try to will ourselves to believe in it.
But John invites us to move beyond blind faith in God’s love. He challenges us to see it.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us…
Do you see it, dear one? Have you looked God full in the face and found yourself enraptured by His heart? Have you been caught by the fierceness of His love for you? If you aren’t sure, I’d guess your answer is no.
Many of us have been looking at God through a broken lens. Theoretically, we know that God loves. But something inside of us resists receiving the reality that God sees and desperately loves me. History’s wounds have distorted His truth and impaired our vision, leaving our belief system compromised. If we don’t have a clear view of God, we’ll operate in limited faith.
Take a look at what Jesus said in Luke 11:34-35.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.”
Matthew 6:23 adds these words:
“… If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
You may not realize it, dear one, but your eye—your ability to see—greatly affects what you experience in this life. If your eye is good—if you see clearly and your perceptions are true—light fills your being. But when your vision is compromised and your eye is bad, your whole body fills with darkness. And not just a few harmless shadows. Jesus described it as great darkness!
“Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.”
Beloved, if the enemy can alter your perceptions, he’ll overshadow your light with darkness. And you will miss experiencing the graces of your salvation.
Isaiah 59:7b-10 offers a vivid picture of what false perceptions—thoughts of iniquity that defy God’s truth—will do.
… desolation and destruction are in their highways. 8The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. 9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
Precious child of God, are you groping in darkness? Do you look for light, only to find yourself experiencing gloom?
False perceptions—deceptive thoughts that oppose God—come from the enemy and have one agenda: to destroy. They rob us of peace. They hide our path. They release darkness where light should be, preventing Christ’s righteousness from overtaking us. They cause us to grope in the dark like the blind.
That darkness has an astonishing result.
…among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
Behold today’s church, beloved. Many have become like dead men walking. Oppressed by the darkness. Hoping for light yet walking in gloom—and doubting God’s promises.
1 John 3:14 sums up our problem.
Whoever does not love abides in death.
Death lingers where love is absent, dear one. We can serve God. We can worship every Sunday. We can read the Word and even memorize Scripture. But none of that matters if our hearts don’t run headlong into His. We need to receive and return the love poured out to us.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.
We will only operate in the power of our inheritance as God’s children when we see. We must invite Jesus to reveal who He truly is and allow Him to show us who we really are. Darkness has flooded Christ’s church, extinguishing His light. We have traded our joy for despair, our faith for hopelessness, truth for deceptions.
Let’s proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, liberty for captive hearts, and recovery of sight for the blind.
Lord Jesus, help us to see!