“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:1-2
First John calls our attention to the great love that God has bestowed upon us, by calling us his sons (or daughters). What a great privilege it is to be part of His family. This was only made possible by the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on Calvary, shedding His blood to redeem us from sin. This is not something we earned or deserved, we only obtain the position of child of God because of His great mercy and love. All we must do is accept the fact that He died for us, repent of our sins, and give ourselves to Him.
The second truth that John expresses is that we do not fully understand what this means to us now, but there will come a day when we shall see Jesus, and we shall be like Him. He’s talking about Heaven, and then we will know what being a child of God truly means.
The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of facts about Heaven. In I Corinthians 2:9 we read, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
We do know that Heaven is a real place because Jesus told His disciples He was going away to prepare a place for them and that one day they would be there with Him. We are just pilgrims and strangers here on earth, our citizenship is in Heaven. As we see the signs around us being fulfilled, we know that Jesus is soon going to return for His people.
The Bible tells us that those who have been faithful will receive rewards in Heaven:
- In Revelation 2:10 we are told: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
- Paul said in II Timothy 4:8: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
- I Peter 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
- I Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
But it is not the rewards that God has prepared for those who have been faithful, that we look forward to the most. It is seeing Jesus face to face, looking into those eyes of love and mercy, and knowing that we will spend eternity in His presence.
We sometimes sing a song: “Heaven’s sounding sweeter all the time, seems like lately it’s always on my mind, and someday I’m going to leave this world behind, for heaven’s sounding sweeter all the time.”
Prayer: Jesus we are so thankful that you call us your sons and daughters, and that you are preparing a place for us to be with you. Help us to be faithful each day until you call.
Devotion by Anne Johnston