5 Minutes in the Word: 1 John 3:1


There really is great love in being “set apart” by God. And for this, we can truly rejoice!

How great is the love the Father 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. 1 John 3:1

According to this verse, there is a beautiful outcome of being a child of God—He sets us apart in love. We are different than the world. We are…
set apart.

Initially, you may read those words and bristle. No one likes to feel separated. When growing up, the last thing anyone ever wanted was to be separated from a group. In our childhood, we saw that being set apart from everyone was usually a bad thing.

When in trouble at school, you probably received a punishment that set you apart from everyone else; maybe you had to sit alone at lunch, on the playground, or even in the classroom. Or maybe you have noticed that fitting in just seems like the easiest thing to do, the popular thing to do.

If anything set you apart from the norm, it cannot be that good can it? It is entirely uncomfortable, and even leaves us feeling alone. Probably, even now, there is an uneasiness that comes with being different, sectioned off, or ‘set apart’. So, why would God want to set us apart?

Unlike being set apart at school for punishment, God sets us apart because He loves us. This verse teaches us that we are the objects of God’s unconditional and unending love. This love is not for everyone, it is reserved for those who, by placing faith in His Son become children of God. Hear that, we are set apart in love, not punishment. God brings us away from the world and into His family, “that we should be called the children of God.”

As children of God, we are not in the family of the world anymore. God brings us in away from the world and into His family so that we may live differently than the world. In the family of God we are completely and utterly loved by Him, and we are inheriting His hope, life, and promises. We are connected with other children of God, to grow with, support, and live differently with. In this way, we see that there really is “great love” in being “set apart” by God; for that, we can rejoice!


  • What does it mean to you to be a child of God?
  • How does being ‘set apart’ by God effect your daily life and decisions?
  • What is one area of your life where you struggle to “live differently” from the world? 

Written by Caroline Brittingham

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