“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 – NIV)
Hello, brothers and sisters in Christ! We often say that to our fellow Christians, don’t we? Some of the members in my church call me “Sister Julie” or “Sister Cassell”. (My church is multigenerational and multiethnic, which I LOVE!) It’s a sweet way to refer to each other, but it’s more than just sweet. It’s true! That IS what we are–family! We are the children of God, according to 1 John 3:1. And that is made possible by the lavish love the Father has for us.
The word “lavish” can be a verb or an adjective. The verb means “to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities.” God bestowed His love on us both generously and extravagantly. The adjective means “elaborate, sumptuously rich, or luxurious.” Thereby, God’s love is elaborate and rich and luxurious. Wouldn’t you agree? Our reference verse here says, “See what great love…” In other words, “Look at how lavish and extravagant and generous His love is!”
But this is just the traditional use of the word. If we look at how the word “lavished” is used Biblically here in 1 John 3:1, we see an even deeper, richer meaning. (Bear with me for a few moments as the English teacher comes out–but this is good stuff!) The tense of the Greek word δέδωκεν (dedōken) is perfect. In English grammar, the perfect tense has to do with a completed action. It can be in the past, present, or future. But in Greek, the perfect tense means the completed action has continuing, ongoing results, even into the future. God “lavished” His love on us at the Cross. He showed us His love then, but He also continues to show His love to us now and into the future! This extravagant act of love completed the work of salvation for us, but His saving grace continues to cover us now, and always, as His children! He doesn’t just love me–He loves me as His daughter! Do you see the richness of that love? Do you understand how lavish it is? (Do you also understand how I can get excited about grammar?) I am loved LAVISHLY!
I am blessed to have had a loving and generous biological father and mother. But for some whose family of origin was not healthy, this lavish love is incredible news. We are adopted into God’s family! God’s love is perfect and pure and extravagant. When Little Orphan Annie was adopted by Daddy Warbucks she became his little princess–loved, pampered, and treasured. So too with us: we are the royal heirs of God–loved, treasured, and pampered with His grace!
I am loved lavishly by my Abba-Daddy. I am a child of God. So are you. We are sisters and brothers in Christ!
You can see how this entry came together in the process video over on the CR YouTube Channel. I used the August Faith Art Box, for which, I’m excited to say, I wrote the devotional content. This kit is beautiful with its florals and hearts, colors and graphics. You could even say it is is just lavish! Order yours today, and share in this journey as we study being an adopted child of God. Tag us with your entries on Instagram with #creativeretreatkits or #faithartbox. You can also share what you create over in the Creative Retreat Insiders Facebook Group.
Thanks for joining me today!
In love and Christ,