How Great is the Father's Love?

Scripture: 1 John 3:1a, ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’


Observations: John has mentioned in passing the Father’s love twice in the previous chapter (v5,15) and now he focuses directly on the Father’s love. Firstly, it’s a sacrificial love, the deepest kind of love there is, which in the Greek is the word agapē. Secondly, because of the nature of this love John refers to God as ‘the Father.’ This is how Jesus consistently referred to God, and because of Jesus we get to refer to God as our Father also. God loves us as a Father loves his children. Thirdly, God’s love is unusual. The Greek word the NIV translates as ‘how great,’ is the word potapos, which refers to something alien, something foreign. It is often translated as ‘what kind of?’ or ‘what sort of?’ with the idea that it is something strange or unheard of. God’s love for us is vastly different than anything we have ever experienced before, it is foreign to us, it is exotic. And the amazing thing about God’s love is that he calls us his children. Even though we are broken and sinful God loves us so much he adopts us as his own children. And we aren’t just ‘called children of God,’ John goes on to say ‘that is what we are!’ God loves the kids no one else would have – us!


Application: Do you ever wonder if God loves you? The answer is, he does. In fact God loves you more than you could ever appreciate. God’s love is deep, it’s tender, it’s great. God loves you like a father ought to love his children. God loves you so much that he has chosen you out of all the others and adopted you into his family. Elsewhere the Bible says, ‘For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Rim 5:10)’ If God loved us enough while we were his enemies to die for us, how much more now that we have been saved should we trust in God’s love?


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s amazing that I can call You my Father. You created the whole universe by nothing else but Your word. You hold everything in the palm of Your hand. You are righteous and holy and perfect and majesty and glorious, and I am as nothing compared to You, in fact I am the exact opposite, I am unrighteous, unholy, imperfect, broken and stained by sin. And yet in Jesus You rescued me. In Jesus You revealed just how great Your love for me is, that You were willing to die in order to save me, that You were willing to suffer in order to make me Your child. Lord, may I never doubt Your love for me. And may I live in light of that love, as Your child. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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