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1 John 2:13: Fathers, Young Men, Children

1 John 2:13
[13] I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. (ESV)

I remember as a kid looking at old family photo albums.  It was fascinating to look at pictures of my parents when they were young.  I would wonder what their ambitions were back then.  What were they into?  Did they ever think that they would grow up and have a child as wonderful as me?  Pictures do tell a story.  Our lives are very different as we grow and mature.

Just like there should be progression in our lives in a physical sense, there should also be progression in our lives in a spiritual sense.  John has addressed the church as being a family.  We understand that we either belong to a family with Satan himself as our father, or we belong to God's family.  Belonging to God's family happens as our hearts have been changed, we respond to God's calling, repent of our sin, and our adopted eternally. 

John speaks to this family and tells them that he is writing to the entire family, and yet he breaks down the different distinctions.  He writes to fathers.  Fathers are those who have known the Lord the longest.  They are mature in their faith.  They have a need to teach the younger by their words and by their example. The young men are those who have not know the Lord as long, but they are growing in their faith. And the children in this verse are those who have just come to faith in Christ.

All of these that John mentions are part of the family.  What a wonderful picture.  We all belong to God.  And we all belong to each other.  One of the most important things we can do is to learn to love each other. The family of God needs to be known by all as a loving family.  Yes, we have our dysfunctions, but we are growing closer to God together.  We are his family.

What part of God's family are you? A father? Young man? Child?  Keep growing! And as you grow be sure to be an example to the younger ones.  Maybe some day in heaven we will be looking through a family photo album.