Reading: 1 John 3:1–3
Our sinful human nature tells us that we must do something to earn something else. If you buy groceries, you get discounted gas. If you buy enough coffee, we get free coffee. If you get an “A” on your exam, you will be praised by your parents. All these things are conditional. This is not the case with our heavenly Father. We try to do what we can to earn God’s love and favor: give to the poor and elderly, say the perfect prayers, or attend church.
John tells us that we can’t earn God’s love. God gives us His love unconditionally. We are dead in our sins and the dead cannot accept anything from God. However, God places His love on us and makes us alive through His Son, who took our sin to the cross. Through the blood of God’s Son and the waters of Baptism, we are God’s children. We didn’t earn this adoption; rather, it is placed on us by God’s unconditional and sacrificing love. Because we are God’s children, we will do His will for others, just as Christ has done freely: give to the poor and elderly, say the perfect prayers, and attend church.
Heavenly Father, who’s unconditional and sacrificing love made me your child, give me a heart like that of your Son, who radiated Your love to me through the cross. Help me and guide me as I also radiate Your love to my friends and family so that they too will see Your love through me; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul! (LSB 543:1)
Jeremy C. Hanson (Sem I, CTSFW)