Day 4

We Are God’s Children

from the 1, 2 & 3 John reading plan

1 John 2:28-29, 1 John 3:1-10, John 3:1-15, James 1:19-27

BY Erin Davis

God the Son is a concept I can wrap my brain around. His humanity makes Jesus feel approachable, relatable even. God the Spirit is a more abstract concept, but my head and heart can still connect the dots. I’ve felt the Spirit’s stirrings in my heart. I’ve seen Him bring peace and joy to His people. But God the Father? I’m afraid that’s where you lose me. Picturing Him feels like lying on my back and watching cloud pictures float across the sky. One second I can make out the edges of the image through squinted eyes; the next, it’s gone. I have a hard time grasping God the Father and an even harder time picturing God as my Father.

You don’t have to read too closely between the lines to discern that my relationship with my dad has been complicated. There’s affection there, but we’ve learned the hard way that the bumps and potholes of life can fracture our tender bond. There’s no reason to go into the specifics here because you’re likely already thinking of your own dad. Perhaps he’s been absent, apathetic, or abusive, and when you get to passages that describe God as Father, you can’t help but question His love for you. Or maybe when you count your lucky stars, your loving, attentive earthly father is among them. Even so, your earthly father is a sinner, incapable of loving you perfectly.

So when the Bible speaks of God’s love for us as a paternal love (1John 3:1), the kind between a loving father and a devoted daughter, it can be hard to see the full picture. John’s letter urges us to keep squinting, to keep trying to see God the Father. There’s a cadence, a rhythm that beats throughout the letter. John refers to God as Father over and over. That’s the downbeat: God is Father. God is Father. God is your Father. Look again and you’ll find a counter rhythm, the sweet language of childhood, gently referring to us, the readers, as little children, beloved and born of God (1John 3:2,7; 4:7). This language isn’t patronizing, but tender. The upbeat of the letter is this: You are His child. You are His child. You are His beloved child.

I’m well into my adult years, but sometimes my heart still takes the posture of a little girl, doubting God’s love or wanting to hide from Him in fear. John’s words gently bid me to look up and see the love God the Father has lavished upon me. I imagine Him kneeling down, lifting my chin to say:

“So now, little [child], remain in him so that when he appears [you] may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know this as well: Everyone who does what is right has been born of him” (1John 2:28–29).

How do we know we’re His? Because of the kind of love God offers. Though we were once sinners, separated from the Father, He reaches toward us with paternal love. We have assurance of God’s love because He does not treat us like strangers. He treats us like family. And not the way you treat a distant cousin, awkwardly kept at arm’s length. No, God lavishes love upon us. He responds to us like a perfect Father should.

The wonder of this truth may still be hard to grasp, but it doesn’t change the facts. God is the Father “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV). And we are His beloved daughters.

Post Comments (65)

65 thoughts on "We Are God’s Children"

  1. Shonda Thomas says:

    I have been bothered lately by the relationship I have with my earthly father because it has shifted tremendously! But I am thankful that God

    1. Shonda Thomas says:

      My father never changes and his promises are forever!!!

  2. Amanda Mayberry says:

    Great reminders of the confidence we have as Gods children

  3. Myrene Copeland says:

    I’ve have read the Love that God has for Us however I haven’t written in my bible nor highlighted in my bible. I feel I just want to be in the study and not get behind. I sometimes pickup the study to see the verses of the day then I read them in my bibles (csb & cev) to help me to understand the Word of God.I want it to resonate with my soul. We’re in this very moment right now with Him. This Book was meant for a time such as this. I’m hoping to understand God Words for a Deeper Meaning and Relationship With Him. In moments I rush to get through and moments it’ll stop me to ponder on thought. It’s sad how my mind forgets so quickly however my Love For My Heavenly Father Never Leaves Me. I’m His Daughter, His Princess that’s just trying to find and remain with him even in my times of Trials and Tribulations that I go through and face. I don’t repent like I should to ask for Forgiveness and turn away from my sin. I’m one that’ll repeat the sin knowing it’s wrong to do. The sin will start to bother me so I start to make excuses on why not to continue that sin instead of asking God to deliver me from that sin in the first place. I made it hard for myself while God is still there with open arms waiting for me to turn to just to him. The Love He Has For Me Is Unconditional. I must put my all into Him and Trust In Him That He Got Me In Full Force With His Fullness Of Love And Life. Even with my past of what I can’t change because it did hurt me which I now have issues with now into my late Forties about to be Fifty. This Woman just wants Total Healing from all the Struggles. I Know He Loves Me. I Just Need To Learn How To Look Deep And Love Myself Enough. How Do I Do That Knowing God Is True? I Need Set Aside The Anger Within In Me To Grow In Love. I’m Tone Is Always In Anger Ready For A Battle. I Either Win Or Lose The Battle Because The Tone Was Either Right Or Wrong. That’s not how I such be if I say,
    “I’m A Child Of God.” I’ve been wounded in my battle however I’m Claiming Complete Healing In All Areas Of My Life.
    God Loves Me Yes He Does Because He Words Said So
    Yes, Jesus Loves Me
    Yes, Jesus Love Me
    Yes, Jesus Loves Me For The Bible Tells Me So
    Your Daughter (Princess)

  4. Merideth Karner says:

    I am one of the lucky few who has a good relationship with my father. I am a daddy’s girl and I love spending time with my dad. That said, my father is also a spiritual mentor to me. He has studied the Bible for most of my life (if not all of it and more) and when I have questions, I ask him. Since I have a good earthly father, I often do find myself comparing him with the image I have of our heavenly Father. I know my Dad’s not perfect…not even close! But it’s still hard, even with a good example, to imagine what God the father is like.

  5. Kristen says:

    Thanks so much Amy for the explanation! That was super helpful.

  6. Angie says:

    Who am I that God should call me His own?
    That God would call me His daughter. That He would be my Father.
    Stop and think about God,… who He is,… His attributes…
    And yet, God is my Father.
    Today, every yesterday (even before my first breath), and every tomorrow, my Abba.
    This morning as I read His Word, I revisited my life, God’s faithfulness, from birth to this moment.
    A God hunt through my days left me in awe of His faithfulness.
    I am
    And, I am humbly thankful.
    I speak for myself, but is this not the cry of our hearts? God is intimately involved with each one of His children. Exactly what we need in every moment whether yesterday, today or tomorrow. We are so blessed.

    1. Kaitlin Duell says:

      Beautifully said ❤️

  7. Nicole Burgos says:

    Today’s message put me in tears , I grew up with an abusive father and it is hard sometimes with my relationship with God but I know he is real and loves me faithfully

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