Daily D – 1 John 3:2
Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 1 JOHN 3:2 (NLT)
The transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-26) that so radically changed Peter’s perspective on everything similarly reshaped John’s view of all things. He tells us that when Jesus returns, we will be like him. What does that mean?
It does not mean we become divine. Contrary to movie theology, we neither become angels nor gods. The Apostle Paul helps us understand what John is saying here. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul writes, “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” The closer and deeper our relationship with Jesus, the more we reflect his character.
What does this mean for us? Two things come to mind. The more aligned and attuned with Jesus we are, the fewer defense mechanisms we employ with others. The more we reflect his glory, the less pretense there is about our lives.
Defense mechanisms are natural. Psychology textbooks provide the shock of recognition when we read about the many ways we protect ourselves from others. In the presence of Jesus, as John and Paul explain so beautifully, there is no need, no desire, to protect ourselves. Perfect love is like that. It drives out all fear (1 John 4:18, 19).
We experience no pretense in the presence of Jesus. When we see him as he is, we likewise see ourselves for who we are. There is no need to act like we are bigger, or smaller, than we are. He knows all about us and loves us just as we are.
Imagine an environment where we could relax in freedom from defense mechanisms and pretense. Imagine laying aside those burdensome behaviors. One day we will ultimately do so. Today we can shed more and more of those old skins by growing into our authentic selves as intended and designed by our Creator.
As Paul noted in 2 Corinthians 3:17, to know and experience Jesus for all he is brings freedom from all that binds us and holds us back. We are really real when we see Jesus for who he is and see ourselves for who we are without defense mechanisms and pretense. John impresses upon us the truth that we are God’s dearly loved children.
This identity and relationship reshape our countenance. It reorients our behavior. It renews our lives. It restores authenticity.
I will live as a child of God with many fewer defense mechanisms and increasingly less pretense.
Our Father, I want to live in your perfect love that makes us fearless. I want to live in your perfect love that makes it possible for me to serve others without fear of loss. I want to live in your perfect love so that I do not have to pretend I am something I am not. I want to live the life you intend for me with authenticity. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.