“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—” John 1:12

With 41% of our youth living in a home where there is no biological father, our ministry is often involved with conversations about fatherhood. In an epistle written by the Apostle John we discover some interesting thoughts about fatherhood. As the Holy Spirit shaped his words, John submits that “we are all children of God”. It is a title bestowed upon His children and a privilege given through God’s “calling” (1 John 3:1). Through this calling we may be seen as children of God by our behavior (3:10), but our final form ‘does not yet appear’ and will not be truly manifested until Christ return.

In the Old Testament, Jews became God’s sons by election and calling. After Christ’s death on the Cross, we who believe were “adopted” into His Kingdom. As adopted children we can never be cut off from our inheritance.

The following story helps us appreciate our position as “Children of God”.

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One morning, they were eating breakfast in a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white haired man moving from table to table visiting with the guests. The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, “I hope he doesn’t come over here.”

But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. “Where are you folks from?” he asked in a friendly voice. “Oklahoma,” they answered. “Great to have you here in Tennessee,” the stranger said. “What do you do for a living?” “I teach at a seminary,” the professor replied.

“Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a really good story for you.” And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. The professor groaned and thought to himself, “Great. Just what I need–another preacher story!

The man pointed out the restaurant window and said, “See that mountain over there? Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, ‘Hey boy, who’s your daddy?’”

Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, “Who’s your daddy?”

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so badly. When he was about twelve years old, a new preacher came to his church. The little boy would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, “Who’s your daddy?”

But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast, he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, “Son, who’s your daddy?”

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, “Who’s your daddy?” The new preacher, though, sensed the awkward situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to the scared little boy.

“Wait a minute!” he said. “I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.” With that, He patted the boy on his shoulder and said, “Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.”

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long-time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, “Who’s your Daddy?” he’d just tell them, “I’m a child of God.”

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?” The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably would never have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, “Do you know that man who just left that was sitting at our table?” The waitress grinned and said, “Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!”

Someone in your life today needs a reminder they are one of God’s children.

Personal Application:

Isn’t God great! He loves and adores us. How have you embraced that relationship as being a child of the King?

When those dark days come, how can you appropriate the relationship you enjoy as being an heir to the throne?

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Jim Grassi, D. Min.