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 3:1a)

By nature, we are his enemies: souls turned inwards, away from his light. Our hearts are hard; our minds are closed; our wills are bound. Lost, in darkest night, thinking we know the way home. Slaves to sin, and slaves to our own efforts. Captured.

In Christ, we are his children: souls looking outwards, reflecting his glory. We have new hearts; we have renewed minds; our joy is to do his will. Rescued by one who descended into the valley of death to bring us home to our Father. Sons of righteousness, our love a response to his love poured into our hearts. Captivated.

We are sons. Not because God is sexist (after all, men are also called the “bride of Christ”) but because we share the very sonship of the Son himself. Jesus shares with us what is his: not just a right standing before God, but his own perfect relationship with his Father. “You have loved them, Father, even as you have loved me.” No room for boasting: men, women, rich, poor, public sinners and hidden Pharisees, we are all utterly depraved yet amazingly loved.

Worried? Take heart: it is your Father’s delight to give you the kingdom. Despairing? Your Father has given you new birth into a living hope. Lonely? Know that you’re part of a Royal Family of eternal fellowship. Guilty? Your Father sets his love on the unlovely, and sent Jesus to take your sin away.

Adopted. Brought near. Carried into the Father’s presence. Dearly loved children of Almighty God. That is what we are!

(Reflections from Transformission 2012; download the talks for more.)