Summary: Big Idea: If you know God as Daddy, then you aren’t His slave, but His child and His heir
God Your Daddy
INTRODUCTION: Fred Craddock, who while lecturing at Yale University, told of going back one summer to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to take a short vacation with his wife. One night they found a quiet little restaurant where they looked forward to a private meal--just the two of them.
While they were waiting for their meal they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting guests. Craddock whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn’t come over here." He didn’t want the man to intrude on their privacy. But the man did come by his table. "Where you folks from?" he asked amicably. "Oklahoma." "Splendid state, I hear, although I’ve never been there. What do you do for a living?” Fred Craddock welcomed that question, for whenever a stranger found out he was a preacher, they’d often excuse themselves shortly thereafter. "I teach homiletics at the graduate seminary of Phillips University." "Oh, so you teach preachers, do you. Well, I’ve got a story I want to tell you." And with that he pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with Craddock and his wife.
Dr. Craddock groaned inwardly: Oh no, here comes another preacher story. It seems everyone has one. The man stuck out his hand. "I’m Ben Hooper. I was born not far from here across the mountains. My mother wasn’t married when I was born so I had a hard time. When I started to school my classmates had a name for me, and it wasn’t a very nice name. I used to go off by myself at recess and during lunchtime because the taunts of my playmates cut so deeply.
"What was worse was going downtown on Saturday afternoon and feeling every eye burning a hole through you. They were all wondering just who my real father was.
"When I was about 12 years old a new preacher came to our church. I would always go in late and slip out early. But one day the preacher said the benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in church on me. Just about the time I got to the door I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up and the preacher was looking right at me.
"Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?’ I felt the old weight come on me. It was like a big black cloud. Even the preacher was putting me down. But as he looked down at me, studying my face, he began to smile a big smile of recognition. "Wait a minute," he said, "I know who you are. I see the family resemblance. You are a son of God. God is your Daddy" With that he slapped me across the back and said, "Boy you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it!"
The old man looked across the table at Fred Craddock and said, "That was the most important single sentence ever said to me." With that he smiled, shook the hands of Craddock and his wife, and moved on to another table to greet old friends. Suddenly, Fred Craddock remembered that on two occasions the people of Tennessee had elected an illegitimate to be their governor. One of them was Ben Hooper.
>>That truth changed Ben Hooper’s life. If you are a Christ follower, you are a child of God your Heavenly Father. But more than just God THE Father, if you are in Christ, God is YOUR Father. And more than just your Father, God is your Daddy. [READ Romans 8:15-17]
BIG IDEA: In Christ, we have been adopted as children of God. If you are in Christ, meaning if you’ve trusted him to be your life leader, then God is your Daddy!
>>And if God is your Daddy, that has huge implications for your identity—for who you are:
I. If God is your daddy, you are no longer a slave (15a)
A. ILLUSTRATION: Joey is a young boy who had been horribly abused by his mother, Teresa. He said “when she was mad, she would kick me across the room.” When he was 3, sometimes she would lock him in his room or in the garage for hours at at time as punishment for crying. Finally, a few years later, he was taken from his mother and placed with an adoptive family. They loved him well and nurtured him, but he never bonded with them. He was always saying he wanted to go live with Teresa. His behavior became more and more disruptive. He would destroy property, hurt the cat, punch and bite his siblings. His adoptive parents asked him,
“Why are you doing this?” “I don’t want to live here anymore,”
“How do we treat you in this family?” “Good.”