“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
God is love and He loves you.
This fundamental truth, so simply expressed, has world-shaking implications for how we see ourselves. According to Pastor Jonathan Parnell, when we truly begin to consider the depth of God’s love for us, it will reframe who we are and how we treat others.
“If you want to see the kind of love God has for us, it’s in this: He calls us children. And so we are! God is different than we are, in that what God calls something, it is. That’s the power He has. When God calls you something, that’s who you are. And God calls us His children — everyone who has put their faith in Jesus.”
Jonathan says that truly believing the truth that you are God’s beloved child, challenges every false belief we have about who God is and who we are meant to be. It means we’re also united with Jesus; we are literally God’s family!
“We once were in rebellion against Him, estranged from Him in our sin, and yet God in the Gospel comes to us reconcile us to Himself: He adopts us as His sons and daughters. We don’t often think about it, but that means if we are the sons and daughters of God, we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus.”
“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:10-11
“To think for a minute: Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. What does that mean? Jesus is proud to call us His brothers and sisters! Because part of being a child of God is being conformed into His image. Everyone who trusts in Him his being conformed and transformed to look more like Him. And Jesus is proud of that.”
Knowing how deeply, how personally we are loved, provides us the power to love one another in the same way Christ loves us. If you struggle with shame or doubts about your worth today, just remember: I am a treasured child of the almighty God! Jesus is my brother! And my Father is proud of me!
Jonathan Parnell is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis–St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their seven children. He is the author of Never Settle for Normal: The Proven Path to Significance and Happiness and the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary. Jonathan has also published a collection of devotional essays under the title, Reading to Walk: Meditations for the Life of Faith