October 9, 2020
1 John 3:1-3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called 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 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 shall see him as he is.  All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
New International Version (NIV)
 An ancient story tells us that when John grew old and could no longer stand on his own, the believers would help him stand behind a table.  Once in place he would say, “Little children, love one another.”  John’s letters, like his gospel teach us about love.  Because John knew that Jesus loved him and transformed him from a son of thunder to the “beloved disciple”, he was able to love others.
How would we live if we believed and accepted God’s love for us?  Would we be more likely to sin or less?  God’s love is not permissive, but redemptive and transformative.  John envisions God’s love adopting us into God’s family.  Even better, John shows that God’s love transforms us progressively so that when we see Jesus we will be like him for we will see him as he is.
Hope of Christ’s return engages us and empowers us to set ourselves apart for God alone.  Years ago I preached a revival at Baylor University.  With my grandfather’s pastor, Dr. Winfred Moore in the room, I preached from the text of Romans 8:28-31.  Remember that God is working all things together for good for those who love him, conforming us to the image of his Son, Jesus.  In my study I realized the question for the college students and all of us is not whether we like Jesus, but whether we love Jesus enough to become like Jesus.  What we could never “gin up”, God’s grace achieves.  Romans 8 reminds us that “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".
Go ahead then.  Look at the love that God has lavished on us.  Live in that love.  Love others.  Love Christ and he will make you like him.  We are less likely to sin if we believe that God really loves us.  Remember: God’s love is not permissive, but redemptive and transformative.  
Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for caring enough to send your very best in your only begotten Son, Jesus.  Remind us of your love in a thousand ways today.  May we see your love everywhere we look.  Help us to believe in your love so strongly that we love you with all that we are and love our neighbors as ourselves.  Redeem us by your love.  Transform us today.  May we be more like Christ at the end of this day than we were at the start.  Empower us by your hope to wait on our tiptoes for the day when we will see Christ and finally be perfectly like him.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.    
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:5-6
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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