1 John 3:1-3 is a short paragraph filled with multiple insights on the love of God the Father for his children. We will consider what John is writing as we think our way through the paragraph. John is amazed at the magnitude of God’s love for us. He writes that God has “lavished” his love on us. While the NIV’s descriptive word “lavish” is somewhat interpretive (the Greek being the simple didomi, “give”), it is the committee’s opinion that there is no better way to picture the greatness of God’s love. It brings to mind adjectives such as “extravagant,” “unrestrained,” or “exuberant” and that is exactly what God’s love is. In letting context control interpretation the NIV has done justice to the greatness of God’s love for each of his children.
Think about it for a moment – God actually loves you. He cares about you, about everything you do, about your future. You are a child of God’s care and you need guidance. Left by yourself you can learn only by a long series of mistakes. God’s love smooths out that path to maturity. And God’s love has a very real dynamism. You experience it, you feel it, you are blessed by it. After all, you are one of his children. I loved my father here on earth. We had a great relationship. He was always there at every football game, every track meet, etc., not because someone suggested that attention like that helps in the “bonding” process, but because he loved me. It was that simple.
I have another Father as well, he is my heavenly Father. In my case, Mr. George Mounce cared deeply for me, his son, how much more does Father God relate himself to me in love. In fact, he “lavished” his love on me (no intention of diminishing your love for me, Dad!) The unique and wonderful aspect of God’s love is that he loves us all equally! When he sent his son into this world he didn’t intend that his love be greater for the cultured than than for the common. God has no requirements for us other than to love him. There are no more eloquent words of praise for God’s love of us than Frederick Lehman’s great hymn “The Love of God” ( 1917). Let’s let him bring the post to a close.