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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

1 John 3:1-2

See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now that we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But, we know that when Christ appears we shall be like Him for we hall see Him as He is. 

More identity crisis. Don't you know who you are? Remember. See. Look. Behold. Experience the beautiful, extravagant reality of being a child of God. I am reminded of the story of the Prince and the Pauper. Did the Prince forget who he was? Knocked about, bruised, battered by the world. Repeatedly told that he was delusional, that he couldn't possibly be royalty. Did he start to believe that for himself? Doubting his birth and his rightful place? 

John asks for a different kind of paupering. Princes and princesses undercover but with the purpose of being discovered. Our purpose is to betray our identity. We are meant to be found out. Our character should expose us. Unmistakably royal. Kind. Generous. Compassionate. Sacrificial. When people saw Jesus they doubted his parentage (Matthew 13:55). This man couldn't possibly be the son of a carpenter. There had to be more to it. And so with us - there has to be more to us. Our behaviour should be inexplicable. It should beg the question: Who on earth are you? 

And in the answering we must point back to Him. We must take after John the Baptist in being those who direct people away from ourselves (John 3:26-30). John says that people will not recognise us as God's children because they do not know God. It is impossible to see the resemblance between a Father and his children if the Father is not known. And so our task is to reveal the identity of the Father through being his children. There is a sad nod of recognition when a teenager's awful behaviour is understood in the light of an abusive childhood; when patterns and actions are traced back to a child's experience of their parents. Not so with us.When people ask for an explanation for our inexplicable behaviour we are to smile and say, Let me tell you about my Dad.

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