|3:1||Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.|
|3:2||Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.|
|3:3||And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.|
Today is barley harvest Thanksgiving Day. Barley harvest Thanksgiving Day of has started since the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Weeks. In the Bible, you can see that this day focuses on giving the first fruit to God. When we look at Exodus 23, the first fruit that God receives is the most valuable thing. What God really wants from you is your heart that gives God what is most valuable. He wants you to keep your heart to be thankful to God all year round. I bless all Yewon believers to rejoice always, giving thanks without ceasing, not blaming, complaining any longer for today's Thanksgiving Day of the barley harvest.
1. Reason to be Thankful
In today's passage, Apostle John fundamentally and essentially declared why we should be thankful while we are living. When we were sinners, Christ proved his love to us by sacrificing himself. In today's passage, it says, "what kind of love the Father has given to us". The words "what kind of" correspond to a word in Greek that means, "to express surprise about works which seems unable to do.” Thanks to the atonement on the cross, we can be his children. Also, the words 'has given to us' is not only touching, but if we see in original verse, that expression means pouring, drenching rain. Apostle John said God's love is the same as heavy rain. The origin of the english ‘thanks’ came from think, which has the meaning of consideration. What I would like to say to you is, once we think carefully about something, we can give thanks. I bless you in the name of the Lord to have the evidence of living the life of a winner who can win in any circumstance with thanksgiving and being deeply moved by love of God as time goes by.
2. Re-creation of Thanksgiving
In verse 2-3, Apostle John emphasizes the fact that the children of God are the people who have a special and a different hope from the unbelievers. That is we will be transformed into a glorious body as the Lord when he comes again. The reason that we can praise and give thanksgiving to God in the midst of agonizing circumstances is that we have the living hope of resurrection and eternal life. Thanksgiving will lead us to the blessing of Re-creation. In Daniel chapter 6, even though Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed as he had done previously. Daniel had the living hope. Therefore, Daniel took the bull by the horns with thanksgiving on whatever threat may come. bless all the Yewon believers to taste this kind of re-creation of thanksgiving and live the life of everything going well.
As for us, the children of God, it is natural to give thanks to God. But we should go one step farther. This thankfulness should spread out to the people who are related to us. From now on, if your lifestyle is not similar to this kind of life, I hope you change it. Thankfulness is like a seed. When the seeds of thanksgiving are planted, lives change and make spiritual influence to others. I bless all the Yewon believers to give thanks and be moved of the amazing love of God which is given more deeply to us and become a true disciple who gives spiritual influence though thankfulness in your field of life.