“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 2:28-29, 3:1-3
I have never really connected with the image of God being like a father to me. It just never really impacted me. And then I got campers. And you just love them. You wait all year for camp to start. You’re so excited to meet them. And then you’re given a co-counselor and you move into your teepee. You pray over each bed as you label it with their names. At that point, you know their names and ages but that’s about it. You don’t know which campers love sports and which ones would rather pick up a paintbrush. You don’t know who is crazy funny and who loves to read. You don’t know all the little details yet but you know their name. And that seems like the most exciting thing in the world. Then you go through this whole crazy first day of cheering and hugging your kids.
But that first night, that’s when it hit me. I looked around at all the tiny heads in the beds and I just couldn’t believe it. I loved those girls so much. I didn’t know much about them, I had just met them. And yet…. I loved them. I wanted to hear about their hurts. I wanted to be there to celebrate their victories and hug them when things go awry.
I only got a week with them and I know I was only experiencing a fraction of a parent’s love. But if I could love them that much in my own imperfect, temporary way, how much more does God love us?
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming…”
I love this verse. I think it breaks down so many lies we hear and believe about the Lord and His love. Let’s go through it though so we can fully understand it. Let’s start with abiding and what that means. A very wise woman, by the name of Alyssa Bethke, wrote a blog post on John 15:4 a few years ago that really has stuck with me. She writes, “Abide involves rest. It involves dwelling, and staying. It includes being with Jesus- not so much doing. Doing flows out of being. It comes after we fully rest in Jesus- after we know who we are in Him, and who He is.”
That gives me shivers. Rest in the Lord my friends. Know who He is and who He has called you to be. Understanding those truths, we can understand the rest of that verse. When we know who God is and who He says we are, we can approach Him with confidence.
I have struggled with understanding grace since Jesus saved me. I have such a hard time accepting the Lord’s continual forgiveness. I have a tendency to sit in my shame and not approach the Lord. Because how could He still love me? Surely my sins are too much this time. Surely He’s done with me now. But He isn’t.
A friend of mine shared a quote from a book called, “Wild and Free,” that says, “You don’t have the power to save yourself or make yourself good. And God didn’t start expecting that of you just because you met Jesus.”
That’s such a good reminder! God knows who we are. And He loves us. We can’t be too much for His grace and His love.
I think I needed a reminder today about how great the Father’s love for us is and what it means to be loved like children. Remember who the Lord calls you to be. He knows you aren’t perfect. What a beautiful thing that His grace covers all! I hope this encourages you in your day. ❤