Today is Father’s Day. Five young men call me “father,” and it is an honor to have that title, however imperfectly I fulfill it.
We all have earthly titles. At work, you may have earned the title “Senior Manager,” or “Executive Director.” In the military, you may be a Master Sergeant. If elected in a free society, you may be granted (for a season) the title Representative; or, in a dictatorship, the ruler may appoint you to be Vice President of Propaganda (wait – that occurs in lots of places!)
These temporary and shifting titles identify us in our roles, but they don’t really define our essence. What enduring and unchanging titles do we possess?
Sadly, in the framework of naturalistic evolution, there is only one title: “_______” Our only significance can be whatever temporary importance we assign to ourselves during this random and ultimately meaningless existence. As a species, and as individuals, we are, ultimately, a blank.
Of course, every particle of our being rebels against this notion. It is an alien thought process, self-imposed against the undying sense that we are very significant, and our individual lives matter very much. While our minds may reject God, deep in our souls we are fully that our title cannot be “_______”
In Jesus, God calls His believing people sons and daughters. We are princes to a sovereign king, a title freely given to unworthy subjects by a gracious and wise Father. We are Beloved, the Bride of Christ.
Even those who don’t yet know Christ are profoundly aware that they are special, because the image of God is stamped upon us:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
Instead of living as vice-regents, we choose the slavery of sin. Jesus put it this way, in John’s gospel (8:34-36):
Truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
We will never be satisfied with temporary earthly titles. We will never rest when there is a “________” after our name. We are made for much higher titles, by a Father who knows all, sees all – and loves those who have abandoned their inheritance. The Father who welcomes back His prodigals who return to Him in repentance and faith.
The Son can set you free to live in the most important title of all this Father’s Day – son or daughter of the King.