August 7, 2008
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1
Most people don't like their names.
That's what one study after another has shown. Most people, at least for part of their lives, don't like the names their parents gave them.
With that as a given, I wonder how soon-to-be-born Dixon Willoughby Partin will feel about his name as he's growing up.
I think Dixon Willoughby is going to feel put out.
You see, Dixon Willoughby's father, David, has promised he will name his son after two hosts on a Florida radio station. Dixon Willoughby's father, David, won a contest by promising to name his son after those two radio personalities.
And what was the grand prize which Dixon Willoughby's father, David, has received for winning this contest? He received - - are you ready for this - - a $100 gas card.
It's hard for me to believe that this bit of news is going to help the boy's self-esteem or increase his sense of self-worth. In truth, a name ought to be worth more than a gas card, which is here today and driven away tomorrow.
I know my name is worth more. So is yours, if you're called a "Christian."
That's what St. John was trying to convey to God's people when he wrote, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God . . . ." John wanted them to know that being called "children of God" was something wonderful and honorable.
John was able to offer such encouragement because he had seen the Father's love in the person of Jesus. John had been there and seen the wonder, compassion, and power of Jesus' miracles; he had heard the Savior's words of wisdom; John had witnessed the Christ's arrest, trial, and crucifixion.
John had been among the first to look into Jesus' empty tomb and had been blessed to repeatedly visit with the risen Redeemer.
What kind of love enables us to be called "children of God"? It's a love that never stopped giving, sacrificing, and reaching out. What kind of love? We have a love that, because of Jesus, forgives our sins and moves us from hell to heaven. What manner of love? It is the kind of love that can only come from a unique and wonderful Father.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for Your love which has made me a child of God, I offer my thanks. May I live like one of Your children. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries