"In love he predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ." — Ephesians 1:4-5
Maybe you have read about or seen heart-wrenching pictures of orphanages in some countries where babies lie unattended in their cribs, crying piteously in unchanged diapers. No one plays with them, hugs them, kisses them, or coos at them. The workers are overburdened and overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.
Ezekiel 16 includes a striking allegory about Jerusalem in its miserable plight: “On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed.... No one looked on you with pity.... You were despised. Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and... I said to you, ‘Live!’ I made you grow like a plant of the field.... You became mine” (Ezekiel 16:4-8).
That is what 1 John 3:1 is talking about when it says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Or, as Paul put it, “In love he predestined us for adoption. . . .” If God had left us in our sinful state, we would have died. And today, because God has put his Spirit in us, we can live for him.
Because of his love for us, we can turn away from sin. Believing in Christ, we are washed, and we live in his love. We are cherished. God becomes our loving Father. He loves and disciplines us as his children, and we live in his family forever. What a beautiful picture of the tenderness of our God!