You have one father

Date: Friday, August 30

ScriptureMatthew 23:1-12

Verse: And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. (Matthew 23:9)

Titles can sometimes go to our heads. There was a pastor in New Jersey who was a chaplain for the State Police. He eventually seemed to believe he was a police officer. The rumor was that he once came to Annual Conference dressed in a complete police uniform, including the revolver. That’s over the top, but it happens in lesser ways all the time. Maybe you have a friend who changed when he became a vice president, or received some other title. When we reach a certain level of recognition, we can sometimes begin to believe inflated things about ourselves. 

This passage about not calling anyone father, or being called rabbi or instructor, is about keeping our heads with our titles and the titles of others. Sure, we have those roles in life, but we also must keep in mind we are also a child and a student of God in Jesus Christ. We need to remember we are servants, and not those whom others ought to serve. 

This week we have been looking at some of the parental images of God in the Bible, and reminding ourselves who God is as our heavenly parent. If you have been reading along all week, you have probably noted while the images used of God are of a parent, they are of the perfect parent. We could never be the parent God is, and we need to remember that. As I was reminded of recently, one of the secrets to life is, “There is a God, and you are not him.”  

We ought not try and take the place of God in anyone’s life, nor should we allow anyone or anything to take his role in ours. God is God. Nothing else is.  

Prayer: Thank you Father, for who you are. Amen. 

Action: Work on your humility. 

Respond: Do you know someone whose title went to their head? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.


About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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