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. 1 John 3:1-3 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, these familiar verses expose my unbelief and fuel my hope every time I read them. I praise you for not “just” loving us, but for lavishing your love upon us—super-abundantly, immeasurably, irrevocably. The most it-can-be-counted on reality in our lives is your love for us in Jesus. The weather changes daily; the Dow Jones Average changes hourly; people’s opinions about us can change in a nanosecond. But your love for us is steadfast, impassioned, and joyful.

     And as your adopted daughters and sons, Father, our future is as spectacular as it is certain. Though there is much about our life in the new heaven and new earth that remains unclear, of this we are sure; when Jesus does return, we will see him as he is and we will be made like him—in all his beauty, love, and wholeness. Nothing about us will remain broken or marred by sin, diseased or bound. Hallelujah, so many times over!

     Because of this great and living hope, we give ourselves to you as living sacrifices, Father. Continue to free us by your grace, change us by your Spirit, and liberate us for your purposes. As Christ is pure, make us pure; as Jesus is joyful, so fill us with his joy; as you are filling the earth with your glory, so use us in that story. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ mighty and merciful name.