Don’t you love tax refunds? My wife and I always get our taxes done as early as possible so we can put the refund to use, usually to pay for property taxes. Funny, we receive our tax refund to pay more taxes—only in America! Anyway, those few weeks after we send our tax returns have become weirdly hopeful, because we have spent years tweaking our withholdings knowing (hoping) a good chunk of money will come back to us. Simply put, we make plans for what has yet to occur. Consider things with larger horizons, like our children. If you have children, have you ever considered that every instruction you give them anticipates something? You may tell your son to wear a helmet when riding his bike, because you are anticipating his safety. You may tell your daughter to work hard on her homework, because you are anticipating her success. You may tell your teenager to clean his room because most potential wives are NOT anticipating a “slob” for a husband. You plan for what is yet to occur, but these plans are built on something. They are fueled by hope. You may tell your daughter to work hard on her homework, because you are anticipating her success. You may tell your teenager to clean his room because most potential wives are NOT anticipating a “slob” for a husband. You plan for what is yet to occur, but these plans are built on something. They are fueled by hope. John’s vision is for his family—his proverbial children—to grab ahold of a future hope that enables them to live differently now. He knows that Jesus’ incarnation and glorification to the right hand of the Father are not only foundational events behind them, but they have also triggered seismic and hopeful implications for living life cemented in God’s imminent future with His “children.”
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Isaac Serrano is Lead Teaching Pastor of South Valley Community Church. He likes talking theology, history, and culture. Isaac lives in Gilroy with his family. On his days off, he likes to go fishing and venture outdoors. Isaac serves on the leadership board for the Regeneration Project and the school board of Pacific Point Christian Schools.